Last week we visited Pensacola to attend the wedding celebration of Thomas and Rachel. Thomas is the son of Mary and TJ, friends God gave us when we lived in Pensacola in 1992-93. Rick was a Navy chaplain and we attended McIlwain Presbyterian Church because it had a great ministry for our kids and God knew we’d meet Mary and TJ–as well as other very fine people! Over the years we’ve been in touch to greater and lesser degrees, but the past few years have found us connecting easily once again, as we had all those years ago. The relationship is a blessing in our lives!
We of course took some time out before an evening wedding to hit the most beautiful beach in the world. I know opinions vary, but we just love Pensacola Beach and Gulf Shores National Seashore. The sand really is white, the water varies from clear to navy blue to aqua to emerald green and the sea oats frame everything beautifully. It also is lovely that there is usually no crowd and scattered swimmers share the generous beach.
PBeach also has sea shells. The last time we were at the beach, Kate and I snorkeled in the warm water. We found beds of sand dollars, counted unlimited fish, and even saw a ray camouflaged in the sand. This time I didn’t have a mask or snorkel and I silently rebuked myself for not thinking ahead. Rick was happily reading on the beach, but I wanted to do something!
My second splash in the water, I spotted something on the bottom and on closer inspection, it was a mask! The waves pushed it around a bit, but eventually I got my hands on it and walked it up to the beach. I asked a family with kids, sitting near-by, if it belonged to them or if they wanted it, but they didn’t need one. So the mask became mine and I spent the rest of the afternoon finding new treasures and being delighted by the variety of underwater life. 🙂
I know this is a silly little example, but that mask reminds me of how God wants to take care of me, of how He is willing to meet my needs. Not just the huge things, but the small things that just make me happy. I wished we had brought a snorkel and mask, I thought about going back to the “we sell everything for your day at the beach” store, but I never even mentioned it to Rick. But God was kind to me and I am grateful for His provision.
Rick reminds me that the mask I found didn’t show me something that wasn’t already in the Gulf; it allows me to see clearly what is there. It helps me see this too: We are all walking in faith, sometimes more and sometimes less aware of how we are totally dependent on Him for everything–Our jobs, our finances, our safety, our health, our very lives. I am, we are, in a season of increased awareness of our dependence as we build our Ministry Partner Team and as we came to Tampa without connections, friends, or family. I know that I need to stay aware of my dependence and His faithfulness. I must stop imagining that its just a phase and we’re passing through! Being aware of my neediness and His willingness is a good place–right where He wants me.
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20, 21