Ever Be: Summer Concert Series Reflections on the Relentless


We spent several days at the beach with our kids a couple of weeks ago. It was their first time to see the ocean in person, and it was so fun to watch their little eyes take it all in. My youngest loved to get out in the waves, but he would stop to celebrate jumping a big one and get knocked down by the next one. “They just keep coming, buddy, we’ve got to keep watching,” I’d say. Possibly the favorite past time for all of them was finding sea snails. We’d put them in a bucket and watch them dig down under the sand. We’d find a huge rout of snails (also called an escargatoire if you need a new vocabulary word!) and feel them under our toes, digging down after each and every wave washed off their cover. I enjoyed watching them, too. Do they get tired? Do they ever think, “oh no, not again”? The cycle of being washed over and digging down again was relentless, but they never gave up.

On the last day of our trip, I found myself sitting at the edge of the ocean with a little guy happily filling up a toy dump truck with sand and snails, feeling the wiggling shells under my toes, watching my two oldest boogie board with their dad – riding in, going back out, riding in, going back out. The relentlessness of the ocean always strikes me. The tide comes in. It goes back out. Sometimes it’s high. Sometimes it’s low. It always rolls in. And those tiny little snails in their little pastel shells, they just keep digging.

A lot of things in my life feel relentless. It’s one of the things I’ve wrestled with the most as a stay at home mom to be honest. The loading and the unloading – dishwasher, washer, dryer, the Sequoia. By the time every load is done, something else is dirty. By the time everyone is dropped off, someone is needing to be picked up. Or at least it feels that way some days. The meals – three times a day, everyday, these people need to eat and they’re all looking at me. I have to confess that I’ve harbored some resentment, perhaps even shed a few frustrated tears over the relentless nature of some of these chores. And the truth is that I always have dishes in the sink, and we sometimes get low on underwear. My counters are cluttered, and I don’t have to cook every meal, but I still feel like I’m cleaning up something – relentlessly.

I can’t imagine that on my death bed my one regret will be that I didn’t keep my house neat enough, but I might regret how frustrated I let it make me. I might regret how much I complained about it. Those sea snails just relentlessly keep digging, and the way they wiggle their little snail bottoms in the last few strokes under the sand gives me the impression they’re actually quite happy about it. I think perhaps I have a lesson to learn from them.

Human life is certainly more complex than a sea snail’s, and also much fuller and richer, I would think. We’re held together by a love that is as relentless as the tide. There is a presence, a power, a goodness that is as dependable as the next wave. As I laid in the sand and felt the tide roll over me and the sea snails burrowing underneath me, I kept hearing this song Ever Be (click to hear it) in my head:

Your love is devoted like a ring of solid gold
Like a vow that is tested like a covenant of old
Your love is enduring through the winter rain
And beyond the horizon with mercy for today

Faithful You have been and faithful you will be
You pledge yourself to me and it’s why I sing

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips
Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips

You Father the orphan
Your kindness makes us whole
And you shoulder our weakness
And your strength becomes our own
Now you’re making me like you
Clothing me in white
Bringing beauty from ashes
For You will have Your bride

Free of all her guilt and rid of all her shame
And known by her true name and it’s why I sing

Your praise will ever be on my lips, ever be on my lips…

We are relentlessly pursued by the God who is love – relentlessly loving, relentlessly working for good, relentlessly holding us up, relentlessly creating, relentlessly shaping us into someone more true, more beautiful, more gracious than we have been before. My hope for you, for myself, for everyone, is that we can feel the pull of this tide, the call of this ocean, louder and clearer and stronger than any other.

And maybe if I lie down in the tide enough, I can be less relentless in my complaining and whining, and more relentless in my praise and gratitude for God’s presence in my life – God’s devoted, dependable relentlessness.

Is a song speaking to you this summer? I’d love to hear your thoughts any time.  Email me shannon@lifeprompted.com


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