It is such a gift and a privilege to share with you all today. I am so grateful to my dear friend, Elizabeth Musser, for her kindness in giving me the opportunity to share once again what’s on my heart right now.
In this Christmas season, I am reflecting on the beauty of the seaside and the ocean, as I recently began a series of paintings depicting the seaside scenes in Florida. Like many of you, I love a long walk on the beach, early in the morning, with only a few other travelers, who all want to enjoy the sounds, sights and smells of the ocean tranquility. As I walk, I pray and listen to hear the sounds around me, reflecting on the goodness of God, even as the difficulties of life come and go.
“For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.” Psalm 95:5
Just like the ocean’s tide, the trials of life flow in and then flow back out like the tide returns to the open ocean once again. The easy times of life come in and then leave again, the hard times of life come in and then they also leave again. It is fleeting, trying to chase happiness or capture a feeling of joy in a bottle. As a painter, I try to find that moment and tell that story. Hopefully, it transports the viewer to another place where they also can draw near to the goodness of God and his faithfulness. That is my sincere prayer and dearest wish as I create a painting.
Every storm looks so overwhelming when it comes, but we serve the God who parted the Red Sea for the people of Israel, walked on water on the Sea of Galilee and with a commanding word, and He calmed the storm for his disciples.
It is quite remarkable that inside the powerful hurricane, there is a calm and quiet eye of the storm, where all is still and nothing is dangerous. I have been in the eye of the storm before, many times, yet I have also been in the outer bands of the storm as well, feeling the full effect of the wind and rain.
I love the story of how Jesus calmed the waves of the sea, while his disciples were fearful for their lives during the storm. He was sleeping during a dangerous storm while they were in their fishing boat – I don’t know about you, but I rarely have ever been able to sleep during a violent storm. His disciples had to wake him up just so that He could save them from the storm. Below is the account of the story in the book of Matthew telling how it happened.
“Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
The words of Jesus are so surprising, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” –
In a moment, He “rebuked the winds and the waves” and it “was completely calm”.
And the fact that it required faith in Christ, trusting that God would protect his people, and that with a word, He calmed the seas, is so comforting to me.
If God does not calm the seas in our lives, it is not because he can’t.
If we don’t have enough faith, He doesn’t stop loving us, and He will still take care of us.
I know all of these things, and yet I still doubt God’s power sometimes.
But when I think about this, walking by the ocean, listening to the sounds of life around me, I am comforted by the power in the goodness of God.
I pray that I will continue to find the beauty in the midst of the storms of life, enjoy each moment of peace that the passing storm brings and try to look for the silver lining of every cloud. Most of all, in the new year, I pray that I will draw nearer to the Lord, trusting with the faith of a child, able to remember how many times He has pulled me out of the storm or calmed the seas in my life.
“Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
and the fish in the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
During this blessed holiday season, as we remember the birth of Christ and look forward to the new year, I pray that these words encourage you today. Though the storms of life come and go, the Lord’s goodness never fails and I am celebrating that with all my heart today!
Blessings to you,
Meghan Lacey was raised in sunny and warm climate of Central Florida and has spent the last ten years living in the beautiful foothills of Georgia. She credits her mother, Lyn Lacey, as her inspiration for her artistic endeavors. While still in high school, Meghan received classical drawing and oil painting instruction from Chris DiDomizio from 2008-2012 and watercolor painting instruction from Dylan Scott Pierce from 2009 until 2012. From 2014 to 2015, Meghan took private lessons from portrait artist Leah Burchfield Mantini. She has taken workshops from renowned artists such as Don Sondag, Jordan Sokol, Amaya Gurpide, Mia Bergeron, Anne Blair Brown, Dylan Scott Pierce, Brett Weaver, and Suzy Schultz. During the fall semester of 2016, she studied abroad at Oxford University through the Scholars’ Semester at Oxford, where she studied History of Art as a registered visiting student. Meghan graduated with her B.A. in Art and Design, with a Concentration in Painting and a Minor in Art History at LaGrange College in May of 2017. During the growing season of 2020, she learned the art of organic farming at Serenbe Farms, GA. As of Fall 2021, Meghan is currently pursuing her M.F.A. in Painting, through the Academy of Art University, in San Francisco, CA. She recently was privileged to have her artwork featured in British Vogue’s April, May and June 2021 print and online issues.