This summer my wife, Janna, and I were blessed to experience a seven-day cruise to the eastern Caribbean. We enjoyed wonderful food, including a very special meal for her birthday, ice skating shows, a musical, a comedian/magician and relaxing in the sun. There were island excursions as well. It was a great time.
One of the most valuable times for me was enjoying the small balcony off our room, which faced the sea. We were 14 floors up from the ocean, so the view was magnificent. I spent many hours on that balcony, looking out at the vast ocean, being reminded of the vast greatness of God and his creation. At night, the constellations of stars burst into view, reminding me how small I am in comparison to what God has created.
I found it to be a time when it was easy to pray, as God’s presence seemed to be an integral part of the whole scene in front of me. Psalm 8:1 came to mind: “Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.”
The day we were on one island for a shore excursion started off sunny and beautiful. With our toes in the sand, we noticed storm clouds forming in the distance, and so we began making our way back to the trams that would take us back to the ship. However, the storm came suddenly and there was a cloudburst of rain. We—and many others—were absolutely drenched, shaking under flimsy towels as we tried to keep rain off our faces. The towels were of little help.
It reminded me of how quickly things can turn from seemingly perfect to exceedingly dismal. Psalm 135:7 says, “He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; he sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.” Although storms do come, God is still present. He sees us through the storm.
On this occasion, Janna and I just walked back to the ship through the rain—a fair jaunt. We decided the storm didn’t have to ruin our day. So, smiling and giggling, we trudged back and were oh so glad to be back where it was dry.
On the island of St. Thomas, I had the opportunity to snorkel. I had some trouble because the equipment wasn’t very good, but I was able to do enough to observe some interesting sea life. Small squid squirted through the water in front of me. Coral seemed to come alive. Small, colorful fish swam in schools. God’s creative beauty was again on display, an underwater contrast to the beautiful vastness of the stars in the sky.
There were so many reminders on this trip about the marvelous God we serve.
As I reflected with God about ministry and what he would have me do in the near future, I was instilled with a sense of awe and honor that I have the privilege of serving this wonderful Creator, the one who made all the things that had so moved me in recent days.
The one who created the massive galaxies and the smallest coral was speaking with me about life, my life. How amazing that he desires such an intimate, detailed relationship with me—and you.
“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me” (Psalm 139:1).