Posted by: glorifyhim1 | May 22, 2013

Always a Blessing

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Earlier this week my husband and I took off for a few days to celebrate our wedding anniversary. It had been awhile since we had done so, we both were ready for a road trip….and, after all, 39 years is definitely worth celebrating! So off we headed to come one step closer to completing another item on our bucket list (that is, if we really had a bucket list). A couple of years ago we finally completed traveling the length of the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of our favorite places. And this year we decided that perhaps we could come one step closer to completing another desire – to visit all of the lighthouses in North Carolina. We still had two to go, Cape Lookout and Bald Head Island. Both have to be reached by boat or ferry, however, and we only had a couple of days. So, we decided to tackle Cape Lookout this year and off we headed.

Traveling roughly seven hours to the Cape Lookout National Seashore, we arrived (after driving through much rain and clouds) to an absolutely beautiful, cloud-free sky. With only two hours left for ferrying and returning passengers, we decided to wait and catch the ferry the next morning so that we could spend the morning on the seashore. Alas, we awoke the next morning to pelting rain, stormy skies, and a 60% chance of rain. Traveling to Cape Lookout lighthouse appeared as dim as the lighthouse’s shadowy image appeared off in the distance. But, hey, this was our anniversary trip! There were still things we could do in an area that we rarely get to visit and maybe, just maybe, the weather would improve so that the ferries could run to the seashore later in the day. Thus began our discovery of unexpected “blessings!”

–A tiny little motel with no coffee or coffee maker and a constantly running/roaring portable air conditioner….but it’s location unequaled, sitting directly on the inlet complete with fishing boats, marina, and a view of the lighthouse off across the horizon.

–A simple local restaurant with signs proudly proclaiming “Now Serving Breakfast,” but failing to mention that breakfast was only available on weekends….but they served delicious fresh seafood the rest of the day by the friendliest wait staff you would ever want to meet.

–A fifteen-mile trip off the island in a desperate search for coffee (if you know me….you would understand)….but, finally, a McDonald’s!

–And at McDonald’s, a tall cup of my black brew, nice COLD coffee…but a sweet server who made a fresh pot just for us!

 

Do you see where this is going? The following morning, as we sat in a place simply called “Restaurant,” and watched a dear lady take orders and rush back to the kitchen to fill them, it came as no surprise that our carefully taken orders for sausage and eggs arrived a few minutes later with bacon instead of sausage. As we nursed our coffee cups (yes, we found coffee), we couldn’t help but smile at our “perfectly planned” anniversary trip. Later as we left, taking steaming cups of hot coffee with us, we drove to the end of the island, sat in the car in the rain, and watched the water lap against the rocks and the seagulls forage and play around the water’s edge. And then I was reminded…there’s always a blessing!

There’s always a blessing…although the ferries still did not run even though the sun pushed through the clouds and produced a beautiful, sunny day. There’s always a blessing…although a favorite restaurant I remembered from a visit to a nearby town now closes after lunch when we showed up for dinner. There’s always a blessing!

I admit, however, how easy it is to lose heart and give up on looking for the blessing. When things do not turn out the way we expect them to or desire them to, it’s much easier to resign to our fate, and perhaps even grow ill and irritable, than to push against the obstacles and see the blessing. But I am learning that when I succumb to discouragement when things don’t go my way, I am actually showing a lack of faith in God to work things out in His time and His way.

What I’m also learning is that I seem to have no problems trusting God with the big things in my life….those things that are completely out of my control. Yet, I can get tripped up with minor setbacks and inconveniences. And I have to ask myself…Is God not in control of these simple things, too?!!

David declared in Psalm 18:29: “With You I can attack a barrier, and with my God I can leap over a wall.” He continued: “God—His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is pure. He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. For who is God besides Yahweh? And who is a rock? Only our God” (Psalm 18:30-31). God knows about the deep desires of our hearts. Likewise, He knows about those minor inconveniences or problems that can wreck our carefully laid plans. While we may be caught by surprise, God is never surprised. And what is more, He’s right there with us whatever we’re going through. With His help, like David, we can “attack our barrier,” or “leap over a wall.” God gives us the power and strength to fight, endure, or take whatever action needed to persevere.

In a later psalm, David declared: “Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me” (Psalm 30:2). Sometimes, it is us instead of our situations that God wants to change. At still other times, God may need to get through us and our preconceived plans to actually change our situations for something much better than we envisioned. But regardless of the why, or even the way, we can totally trust our lives and ourselves to God. And, in the process, there’s nearly always a blessing lurking somewhere….” “You turned my lament into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, so that I can sing to You and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise You forever” (Psalm 30:11-12).

On the last day of our anniversary trip the day dawned bright and sunny. We eagerly headed to the ferry, delighted to see the gates rolled back. Yet, even then, we hit a snag as no one else was there and they needed a minimum of four passengers to operate the passenger ferry. After waiting for about an hour, we agreed to pay a double fare so that we could at last make it to the seashore. So, for $20 each, we had a private ferry to and from the island, and were able to spend about two and one-half hours, almost all alone, on the Cape Lookout National Seashore. It was quiet, it was beautiful, it was a blessing!

Later after we returned to our little motel, I began working on this devotion. I couldn’t help but smile again as the air conditioner stopped roaring and the lights went off, as workmen outside turned off the electric power. What a perfect ending to a road trip filled with blessings! And as the cool air began to blow once more, I felt God must be laughing with me….yes, there’s always a blessing!

 

 

 

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