A Big… Rock

I have seen pictures many times of this big rock just barely off of the seashore. But I never really knew where it was or anything about it. It is roughly shaped like an old-fashioned barnyard haystack—the kind in which finding a needle would be understandably improbable if not utterly impossible.

A few years ago my wife’s parents visited this place and came back raving about how beautiful it was. They brought us a set of coasters with this same rock on each one.

“It’s Haystack Rock,” they cheerfully informed us.

I have acquaintances that live in that part of the world and I had seen them post pictures and such as well as moments in movies or tv shows over the years. But gosh… that’s a big… rock.

I mean, whoa!

We checked into our hotel when we arrived on Monday evening and I looked out our window and there it was. Even though there were about a block of resort properties and parking lots and a beachside restaurant in between, this enormous rock rose far above them. It took 10 minutes to walk to it, but it was just so… big.

Haystack Rock from our hotel window! (Taken April 17, 2017)

It’s surprising when we’re taken aback by something like this. We have seen pictures and such and we have heard people talk about it. But I found myself taking pictures from different angles and in different lights at different times of day.

Sometimes I was struck by the thick carpet of moss along the smoother, northern side, often dotted with seagulls. It strikes me as a strangely serene and peaceful spot despite the crashing waves at its base.

Other times it seemed to be standing watch like a stone-faced general with a few footmen close at hand to do his bidding.

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Oregon (taken April 21, 2017)

It stirs my mind to the many dimensions of God’s grace that I have tasted and seen and experienced and explored and even, at times, expressed. I cannot fathom it. And, while the comparison fails miserably in that this rock is indeed quite finite, the more I explore God’s grace, the more of it I find.

His grace is, as best I can comprehend, without limit. No matter how much I have been given, no matter how much I see that I need, it is always abundantly more than I can even comprehend. And let me assure you that I am immensely aware of the grace of which I have been so desperately in need.

As we walked along the shore and witnessed the churning waves beating relentlessly at this rock, I found myself reflecting on the words to that powerfully simple worship song, “He Loves Us.” Indeed, if His grace is an ocean, we are all sinking.

Man… Haystack Rock is a big… rock.

But it’s hardly a grain of sand in comparison with the enormity of God’s great grace for us.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth… For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.”

John 1.14,16

Yes, surely it is so. Grace upon grace upon grace. It’s just so… big.

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