Island adventures, night skies and never-ever quitting…

So last Sunday, when me and some friends arrived at the beach-house we were staying in, the first thing we did was dump our stuff and head out to explore the beauty of the area.

The evening was glorious. The small bay that was a mere stones-throw from the house was picture perfect.

I just can't stop talking about those stars and that night sky to anyone and everyone I meet…

I mean, this was early evening…

 

And this… Was possibly the most exquisite night sky I have ever sat under…

Seriously.
That's a real life picture that was taken from the real life beach that we were really sitting on.
How can you not believe in a Creator when you see that with your real-life-own-eyes.

(BTW, both of these photos are credit to my friend Tre McKee who is an awesome photographer. He and his beautiful wife Tomoko are two of my greatest friends and they have the most awesome heart for missional business here in Japan… So… you should also all pray for them, give to them, thank God for them with me…)

So anyway, post that first picture but before the second, I also got a little bit more covered in ocean than I had planned to.

Because there are a lot of times when you're at the beach that you look out into the water and see a small island which almost seems within reach. You know? A little island that's not very far away and you imagine that the water is almost shallow enough to paddle out to it.

So when we arrived at said beach this was exactly our discovery. There was this small piece of land only 300 or so metres away. Which meant that despite being fully clothed and carrying watches, cameras and other valuable items, me and a couple of friends thought we'd just go. You know, wade out to this little island, take some pictures, collect some shells, pretend we were mysterious adventurers… That kind of thing.

Which was a super cool idea.

Until about half way out to the little island. When the shallow water became not-so-shallow. And more like well over waist height.

One of my friends bailed right then, pleading the terribly-rubbish-excuse of not having a spare change of clothes… (I mean… Honestly?! ;))

Me and another friend decided to keep going… We'd come over half way and we figured the randomness of the adventure was worth it.

And so we waded on. Watches and cameras held as high as we could wave them. Clothes drenched. Friends on the shore cheering us forwards.

We got to our island, took our photos, collected our shells and felt like world-class adventurers.

The journey was just a little bit more unexpected and challenging than we'd bargained for.

We were covered in a lot more ocean than we'd anticipated.

Which is a lot like faith, isn't it?!

I mean you start off with all this excitement and zeal for the adventure and the journey… But at some point on the way to the promised land you hit that point where the water is way over waist height and you're wondering if you'll make it. You're wondering if you heard God wrong. You're wondering why He didn't make it easier. And you're left questioning how much this journey is really going to cost you.

And there's that choice part.

Where you can make the decision to go back, or trust that you'll be able to make it. Trust that His promises are true. Trust. Even if you're drenched when you get there.

There's this song called 'Still Looking Back at Me' on Jon Thurlow's latest EP that I love. It's an honest reflection of the ways that we often don't think our journey will be… But it's written as if God is singing this song over us…

She never thought it would be this way

She never thought she would feel all this pain

Sometimes she feels like it won't ever change.

Cos she, she's still hurting

She's still waiting to be free

But she, she's not quitting

She's still looking back at Me

What she doesn't see is My heart that's exploding

Each time she lifts up her voice My heart's overflowing

If she only knew how much My heart is moved

Cos she, she's still hurting

She's still waiting to be free

But she, she's not quitting

She's still looking back at me

 

And so I can relate to that song in so many ways. But here's the thing I remember when I sit under the night sky…. Because the God who created the exquisite beauty of that night scene is the same God who's heart is exploding with love for me.

Whose heart is moved towards me.

If we don't quit, we win.

If we keep choosing. If we keep leaning. If we keep going.

If we keep looking at Him.

I want to keep pressing forwards in love for Jesus every moment of every day that I have to give Him.

Because He's worthy of it all.

 

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