Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Surprise Gift

I love to go on vacation. Some years we get to go somewhere and some years we don't. I am learning to walk in contentment with those times we don't go anywhere.

This year the chances were slim and none. And slim was heading out of town.

I had a little mantra that I would say to myself. It went something like this, "Even though almost everyone around me is going to the beach sometime this summer, I don't have to go. There are people all around the world who don't even know that vacations exist and who have never been anywhere but their very own village or town. Many of them are glad if they manage two meals a day in the midst of their hard work. Yeah, I think I can live without a trip to the beach."

Levi at St. Simons pier. Photo by Taylor Cone.
I was not denying my desire to get away for some relaxation and fun, I was only trying to remind myself that a vacation was not a necessity. God has not promised me an annual trip to the beach. What He has promised  is to walk with me, to be with me in the good times and the bad, to strengthen me for this day, to never leave or forsake me, and to hear my cries. He has promised me His Presence, not presents.

And yet He is the ultimate gift Giver. He gave me Jesus. He gave me entrance into His throne room. He gave me grace and forgiveness when I was His enemy. He redeemed me by paying the costly price of the life and blood of His Son to cover my sins. He brought me out of darkness and into His marvelous light. He took me from slavery to freedom.

So, did comparing my life to some other lives in this world help me? Yes, I think it did. It's not so much about making comparisons as it is remembering His goodness to me. I want to be aware that God is good to me whether I get to do cool things I'd like to do or not. I want to know that God is mine and I am His and a trip to St. Simons Island isn't going to change that.
The Beach at St. Simons Island. Photo by Taylor Cone.
God decided to surprise me and let me experience St. Simons again this year. As I said, He does love to give gifts. I enjoyed resting and reconnecting with my kids and watching them with their friends. I enjoyed hanging out with my mom and her best friend Carol. I loved not having an agenda other than choosing among the pool, the beach, or the pier.

Thank You, Father for allowing me these days of restoration. And I especially thank You for sunrises at the beach and sunsets at the pier.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands." 
Psalm 19:1

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