Sunday, April 5, 2009

Counting "It" All Joy

I don't know of anyone who enjoys hard tough days. In fact most of us want the life of smooth sailing in calm and easy seas. Growing up in a coastal city where ocean liners come and go gliding over smooth glassy waters I can easily relate to life where an easy rocking of the ship, one that lulls the senses into a deep sleep, but also I have had the experience a time or two in a small sea craft when that ocean liner coming into port speedily creating its wake, waves 5-10 feet high from the water's surface coming like a wall to capsize that same small boat where only moments before it was easy does it as porpoise swam near us rising just enough out of the water for us to see and gulls circling overhead wishing for a stray fish or two to become their lunch that day.

"Hit the throttle~ NOW!" was my Daddy's yell to me. "I said, NOW~ Go ON~ ALL the WAY!" he further instructed with, "Turn into the wave. Hit it straight on! OPEN UP the engine(turn on high motor speed)Hang ON!" I am at the wheel. I am listening intently for my father's instructions as loudly and anxiously he gives them...if I fail, we might capsize, turn over or worse yet, drown in the salty ocean waters at the mouth of the river that leads into the ocean.

This event is not what would be called a nice fishing trip or one that is ordinary in nature. Not less than a mile from the shore~a distance that should not evoke danger or distress, our small craft, a sixteen foot open bow boat with a 75 horse engine carrying a man and his teenage daughter pulling a fifty foot net for fish and other sea delicacies finds troubles. BIG looming danger that had the potential for disaster. Obviously I am here as is the older gentleman in his recliner remembering those past days, the boat under its shelter all are safe and sound...but in the moment of danger~distress~anxiety~trouble...

I hit the lever called the "throttle" that sped that engine to its maximum speed and turned the bow (front) of the boat directly into the oncoming wave. ALL I could see was a wave of water, a huge wall coming towards us...It was us and the wave...IF it had crested and rolled over us we'd have been lost, but running into the wave, the trouble head on took us UP and OVER, miraculously OVER the wave to "fly" for just a bit into the air and hit very very very hard onto the back side of the moving water's break~BAM! We sat down. I was surprised that our boat did not crack apart by the force. Smaller waves came and came...wake will only stop on the shoreline...we were between the wake and the shore so we received the impact of its force each time with the lessening intensity of the waves from the ship as it sped into harbor. Usually the ships slowed into port and a tug would come and guide them in...Not this day, something unusual had occurred. Both as a result of the situation and the situation itself.

My father's urgency and instructions became so important that I closely listened like no teenager might have because the situation demanded it. In life, there are situations that are so intense that we must heed so closely to our heavenly Father's instructions that if we fail we might parish or fail. My Daddy yelled, but my heavenly Father speaks in a quiet and still voice. Oh I suppose there are times He yells at me too! I have heard Him (not hearing voices, but in His Word, He speaks...)so very LOUDLY telling me what He wants me to do and with urgency. I well remember the call or the clear understanding about a church volunteer ministry I was to participate in not too far back. He speaks, and I must listen closely and earnestly.

If I had rebelled and said, "NO WAY Daddy! I'm NOT going to do what you are asking of me!" Think of the disaster that awaited us as that huge wall of water washed over us and sent us possibly to our graves. Rebellion causes all sorts of troubles in this life not just between parents and children, but God is not pleased when I tell Him "No!" He is gracious and patient with me, but honestly I think I tire His patience sometimes...but WHAT a loving Father! He guides and provides despite my willfulness and stubborn shortsightedness. Oh yes, I could have said, "Daddy, I know ALL ABOUT that wave coming towards us..and YOU are WRONG! I don't need to head the bow of the boat into the wave head on...I don't need to speed the engine...I don't need to hang on tight!" Ignorantly and nearsightedly we could have perished. But as an obedient daughter I did exactly as I was instructed, and thankfully my wise Daddy knew what to do, to TELL ME to do! Nearsightedness is another issue I must address with my heavenly Father when He instructs me to follow Him..."but God! HOLD ON...I don't want to do..I am tired...I am this or that...or NO..." Potential troubles lay for me if I fail to follow Him as He directs because while He is ever present, always knowing, my vision and understanding are limited. God's in total control. I AM NOT!

It's my prayer that today we give over ourselves to our heavenly Father and His will so that when the wall of water in this life comes to swallow us up, we are saved by His grace and mercy to yet another new day to have joy and count it joy that we have overcome! Oh being a survivor of this wake is not a huge deal compared to the many trials of life that are around us every day. May we be obedient to our Father's commands, His instructions and decrees so that we find ourselves back in smooth waters having ridden out the waves that were once so dangerous.

I wish you His ever guiding hand of protection and peace for the journey over the "wall of water" in your life. It's a frightening thing to face, but with the God of Creation, our Holy Father we will find joy in the victory of coming out the other side better for the experience.

Some of my favorite verses concerning trials are

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. II Corinthians 1:3-4

Praise Him there is a purpose behind every trial...or wall of water in our lives! May I give Him the glory and have count "IT" all joy!

In His Mercy,
Lady Graceful
Phil. 1:6

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