Published in  
June 7, 2021

Never Alone

One thing I love about surfing is the joy of sharing it with friends. A few weeks ago, I found myself with a flexible block of time, and as I often do, I checked the surf report. It was cold outside and a low fog had settled in, bringing the constant drone of fog horns in dissonant harmonies off the beach, but the waves looked long and glassy, so I began texting my surf buddies.

It was a rare occasion when no one could drop everything to join me, so

I headed out alone.

There were a few other surfers out, but for the most part, I dropped into small, long-rolling waves alone. What I realized, however, was that I was not alone at all. Families of bottle-nosed dolphins swam nearby, a baby arching through the surface of the water alongside his mother. Long lines of pelicans flew low over the surface, lifting over the swell of rolling waves in perfectly spaced, long waves of flight. I sat on my longboard and thanked God for the special moment to spend with him, enjoying his creation. At that moment, a line of pelicans came up behind me, gliding with outstretched wings just above the surface of the water. As I sensed their approach and turned to look, they divided, going to the left and right of me and then rejoining in their perfect line as we all floated over the crest of the rolling swell.

I was not alone.

I was surfing with a friend. A few days later, I heard a teaching about the Holy Spirit that emphasized the truths that God was showing me that day on the water with him. I am not alone. We are never alone. As believers, God has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, and invites us into intimate friendship with Jesus. John writes in scripture that “you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:17); that “he will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13) and will “teach you all things and will remind you of everything” Jesus has said to you (14:26). He speaks what he hears from Jesus (16:13) who knows us, loves us, and offers us fullness of life in him (10:10).

Whatever difficult thing we are walking through, the Holy Spirit is with us, helping us, tilling up the hard places to bring new growth, light, and hope.