Last Wednesday night I was really discouraged. The weather forecast was cloudy and rainy for the entire time we were scheduled to take my firstborn and his family on the boat for a real adventure. Last year our plans were foiled when the engine on the sailboat died and we ended up staying in the marina and using the dinghy for a little boating fun. The idea of 3 kiddos and 4 adults being cooped up in the cabin to stay dry nearly had me thinking we should reschedule… but that just wasn’t coming together either.
I must admit, I was falling into some pretty deep self-pity. It just seemed like the whole weekend was going to be ruined and I couldn’t muster up the faith to even ask God for good weather. I kept trying to see if there was someplace we could drive where there would be decent weather and we could have fun with the grandkids. Everyplace I looked, rain and clouds. The only option with decent weather was Moses Lake, but no one really wanted to spend lots of time driving since we only had 2 full days together before Garrett had to fly out on a business trip. I felt like I was hitting my head against the wall and there were no answers coming. I really was in bad shape emotionally, and could not snap out of it. I was weepy and anxious and just a mess.
Of course, God just wanted to teach me a lesson in a way I would not soon forget… after all, we were just finishing up a 4 week study on Philippians where we memorized Philippians 4:4-8:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Phil 4:4-8)
If ever I needed to apply this scripture, it was during this time leading up to our family weekend, yet I felt overwhelmed with anxiety and was unable to make any forward progress. Wednesday night, our last meeting of the 4 week Bible Study, I asked for prayer. I needed His peace that transcends ALL understanding!
Although I still felt defeated when I went to bed, as Ross and I prayed to end our day I forced myself to pray Philippians 4:4-8 and chose to be anxious for nothing, but presented our requests to God with thanksgiving. Then He did the rest with providing peace to guard our minds and our hearts. I drifted off to sleep, but Ross had an epiphany at nearly midnight and woke me up to tell me.
“I’ve been praying and asking God what we should do, and I believe I have an answer… we are supposed to have a great adventure this weekend, and be prepared for the rain, and just have fun in it. Rather than being upset that the weather doesn’t seem to be cooperating, we will make the most of the time and make it one big adventure for the grandkids.”
All of a sudden, I felt His peace. I went back to sleep knowing everything would be okay, rain or shine.
We spent almost $200 on raingear for 7 of us, and an extra tarp to go over the Bimini on the boat. We were ready for whatever would come. I still didn’t feel like I had enough faith to ask for sunshine and actually get it, but I told God I’d be happy with whatever He sent. But for my son’s sake, sunshine would be amazing, please!!
Then, a brother from our congregation donated 2 fishing poles for the kids to use over the weekend. It was all coming together, and I was really getting excited.
Well, can I just say that God outdid Himself? The sun was out most of the day Friday and we had a lovely ride over to Gig Harbor. Garrett and the kids took the crab pots out and even though we didn’t catch anything, it was fun and exciting and the kids were having a wonderful time on the water.
Then Saturday, it just seemed to be one thing after another, as I stood in amazement at His faithfulness. After we docked at the Foss Waterway in Tacoma, the kids went to the end of the dock and fished with a big family of Asians who seemed to be having some success catching the goods. Since the fish bait was used up with our first unsuccessful attempt to catch crab, the boys started fishing with leftover hot dogs and got nowhere. Ross decided it was time for better bait, so he and Garrett ran the dinghy up to the market and brought back some herring.
As Ross and I settled in to relax a bit on the boat while everyone else was down fishing, low and behold Judah runs up to the boat declaring “Look what I caught!” A large rock cod hung from the line, struggling to escape. Not long after that, he ran down again with an even bigger flounder! And then, to top it off, the crab pot snagged some males that were large enough to keep so we would be able to experience eating fresh crab together!
With all that excitement for the night, I would have been fine with that being the culmination, but God wasn’t done yet. The next morning, Scarlett and her dad pulled up the crab pot to find even more crab to add to our brunch! We headed back into our slip at the marina and as we were getting ready to cook up the fish and crab, Scarlett threw in a line on the dock, just a yard or two from the boat. It seemed like almost no time at all and she had a bite, and a big one, so Gabe began to reel it in for her… then pandemonium struck! “It’s a shark, it’s a shark! We caught a shark!” I was dumbfounded. As if it wasn’t enough, He had to give us one last thrill to really make the weekend one none of us would ever forget.
And guess what… Not once did we even have to think about breaking out the rain gear! We had sunshine, we had clouds, we had a few sprinkles two or three times for just a few minutes, but that was it. The weekend was over the top encouraging and a true reminder of how faithful He is. He really does care even about the little things, and the big things. He cares about it all!
We had an adventure that filled our hearts with overflowing gratitude, and I for one am so thankful for a husband who was strong when I was weak, who went after it in faith when I was emotionally curled up in a fetal position, for sisters who prayed for me and for God who went above and beyond anything I could have imagined!
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. (Eph. 3:20-21)