Have you ever looked at the ocean at night? Or gazed at the mountains and taken in beauty? These scenes give a tiny glimpse of the greatness of God. It puts into perspective just how vast he is. As I look on the horizon of the sea, I am taken away by immense view. The perspective is much larger than the one I see every day. The water goes on for miles until my eyes can’t see anymore, yet there is still more. I can’t see it, but I know it’s there.

God is so great, and I am so small. I am nothing compared to the sea in front of me. I could get caught up in a riptide and taken away in a second. I could float in the middle of the ocean and see nothing but water for miles, and I am tiny in comparison. My world centers around me. And compared to the vastness of creation I am nothing. Millions of people have sat on the water’s edge, and their minds have drifted to the greatness of God. The mortality of the present. The minuscule needs of current situations. The worst in our lives is nothing compared to the vastness of the universe, all it encompasses, and the problems of the multitude.

Yet, God still loves us with a love beyond understanding. I care so much about myself, my feelings, my joys, my insecurities, my hopes, and my dreams—mine. God sees the tiny speck of my body floating in the massive sea. The sea that stretches beyond my vision.

I watch families walk with flashlights in hand. I see couples walking hand in hand, and teenagers working to get the perfect oceanfront, night-time selfie. I think of my nephew sleeping in the condo. I think about all the toddlers I watched discover sand and water. I think of my friends and family back home and the students I haven’t seen since the spring. While God is busy centering his love around me, He is also centering his love around each person that as crossed my mind and billions more.

We are as small as the speck, but his love is as great as the ocean.

In this, I feel moved to love more, to do more, to be more. The Holy Spirit fills me with a love as massive as the ocean so I must show that love to others. Instead of laughing at the cute little social media models, I begin to see them next to the greatness of God’s love. I see that to Him—their heart matters. He cares about their needs and wants, hopes and dreams, fears and failures, success and joy. Because God loves them, I love them. Though a few minutes prior, I was annoyed when they blocked my perfect path for a night beach stroll. Now, I see them differently.

I wonder who else has been in my way that God loved. Did I reach out to God’s child? His most precious desire as if they were interrupting my world with their negativity? Or did I look with love and compassion as they floated in the depth of a sea of God’s love?

My perception is my reality. Do I perceive God’s people with an optional love? Or as those He loves immensely?