Fresh Air

At the beach, the sand clings, the sun burns, and jellyfish sting.

Not to mention dangers of sharks, stingrays, and riptides.

Why, then, do people flock to the beach? Is the view of the ocean or the sound of waves crashing on the shore that alluring? Or is it because people realize they stand beside an immense power, and it gives them a small inkling of the power of God? Perhaps those reasons and something more.

My family vacationed at a beach recently. My husband and I had the grandkids and were the first to arrive. After the long car ride, the two oldest (seven and five) were cranky. As we walked to the beach, calmness descended. 001 - Copy

Why is the sight of the ocean such a mood changer? Some people believe it’s more than the sights and sounds. As the waves crash upon the shore, negative ions are released. Negative ions also increase high in the mountains and after a rain.

Many believe negative ions impact both our physical and mental well being. 

Many of us today wrap our homes tightly around us, seldom venturing into the cold of winter or the heat of summer. We stay inside where electronic equipment gives off positive ions. Positive ions zap our physical and mental strength. Negative ions neutralize this effect.

Growing up, I watched The Jetsons and laughed at the idea of tiring from pushing a button all day as George Jetson did. Yet today I tire from doing basically the same thing George did. Could it be all those positive ions emanating from my computer?

Is it coincidental that powerful forces–the ocean, a storm, the mountain–produce negative ions? Perhaps we need to spend more time in the natural world God created, soaking up the negative ions and realizing his power.

We once had a speaker at our church who said to live our lives in such a way that we will grow into sweet old men and ladies. I was young at the time and didn’t realize the challenges that I would face, challenges that have threatened to leave me broken, depressed, and embittered.

Challenges we all face. Friends may betray us, family members may abandon us, and health problems may plague us. We may lose material things we possess. Yet with God’s help, we can grow old with a sweet, loving spirit. Someone once asked what would we be able to accomplish if we knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that God was with us. Wouldn’t we be able to face our challenges with strength and determination?

And he is with us. And he helps us face challenges and hold onto our faith. One way he helps is by allowing us to absorb the sights, sounds, and smells of nature, to absorb the negative ions, reminding us of his power. We can do all things through him. He made us. He gave us our souls. And our souls are of the prime importance.

What if a woman valued the box her engagement ring came in more than the ring? Ridiculous? Yet some of us do the same. We value the boxes, our bodies, more than we value what’s inside, our souls.

Our earthly bodies simply house our souls. As decay sets in outwardly, inwardly we must keep our souls pure.

No matter the hardships, no matter the trials, no matter the losses we experience in our earthly bodies, we must hold onto the thing of value, the soul.

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Matthew. 10:28

Breathe in the negative ions and be refreshed!

But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,

whose confidence is in him.

He will be like a tree planted by the water

that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes;

its leaves are always green.

It has no worries in a year of drought

and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8

(Part of the Christian Writers Blog Chain. Check out the other great entries listed in the sidebar.)



19 thoughts on “Fresh Air

  1. Excellent post, Sheila, and a wonderful reminder that even something negative – like ions – can be for our good when God is directing their use.

    I hope you rejoin the chain soon; we’ll miss your insights and encouragement.

  2. Is this why I feel so refreshed and at peace when I’m at the mountains and the coast? God has provided in His creation everything we need. The more I learn about His provisions, the more fascinated I become. How can anyone doubt divine creation with His fingerprints left everywhere?

  3. I haven’t come across negative and positive ions – sounds very interesting. It could explain why we sometimes feel “housebound” when we haven’t gone outside all day.

    Thanks for sharing Shiela. I’m gonna have to go out and find some of those ions with my family today.

  4. Shiela- Thank you for your wonderful inspiring post. I knew there had to be some “scientific’ explanation of feeling refreshed and renewed outside-you know they always have to put a label God’s magnificent creation. I just loved how you showed the power and majesty that fills our souls-perfect scripture too!

    Blessings to you and yours

  5. Sheila,

    That’s beautiful, you’ve written about the one thing that no one can ever take away from us, the “positive ions” of God’s love!! Thanks for this one 🙂

  6. This was super cool, Sheila. So that’s why oceans, storms etc are so calming! I love it when what we know to be true can be proved like this through science – which just goes to solidify my belief in a God who worked out every small detail. Great post.

  7. Wonderful post. A friend at church always said, “Growin’ old ain’t for sissies.” The idea of being a kindly oldster can be hard when the aches and pains seem overwhelming. By the way, I agree about the computer. I spend most days at the keyboard and find it can be as exhausting as hard physical labor. (I know people mightdisagree, but particularly when it comes to writing, the mental stress can be a huge factor. Peace and Blessings

  8. It makes me wonder how anyone who studies all the little details of science could possibly still deny God’s existence. He proves Himself down to the tiniest microscopic levels. His signature is on everything! Great post, Sheila! I am definitely going to miss having you a part of the chain!

  9. Ahhhh…Sheila…love how you again weave science and creation together so accessibly! There is nothing that feeds my soul more than being outdoor — God in every thing, every breath. Loved your line, “Many of us today wrap our homes tightly around us, seldom venturing into the cold of winter or the heat of summer.” So true!

    I recently read about the negative ions in relation to the ocean. Fascinating to read your post on the heels of that!

  10. I love the ocean. It is such a peaceful place. Now I know that is might be because of negative ions. Who knew. I always thought it was just that lower latitudes better attitudes. Thank you for that.

  11. Nature’s restorative powers lies in not only the beauty, but the removal of distractions. At the beach or the mountains we are not pulled in a million directions trying to accomplish more than our day has hours for. We sit, usually quietly, and enjoy the beauty for what it is, beautiful. As the Psalm says: beside restful waters – a beautiful metaphor for a spiritually rich life. My childhood was spent in the Oregon woods. Three months of every year we camped beside a creek, river or lake. I spent hours every day hiking, reading beneath a huge pine or fir tree, or just enjoying the view. Whether it was indeed negative ions, or something else, that experience has given me a basis on which I balance my life. Some times we need to step away from our To Do lists and spend quiet time with God. Great post, Sheila.

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