Two Sundays into a seven month deployment and I find myself glad that Sunday is our weekly mark for each week passed by. I have never had much of a chance to use this day for rest and restoration while at sea, and I'm finding it a very important part of my new weekly schedule. I am swiftly falling in love with the incredible ways that God likes to sneak into my day, even way out here, so far away from everything in the Eastern Mediterranean.
I experienced my first wave of inspiration from the Lord today. After two weeks of tumult, queasy seas, while crossing the Atlantic, and the constant gray clouds and frequent rain, it was as if God chose today to lighten the load and shine his grace down from the heavens. It is fitting in a special way as we are very close to His Earthly home in Israel. In two days we will pull port in Haifa and I will get to spend some time in Jerusalem, walking hopefully in the same steps of my Father some two thousand years before me.
As a unique a way as this is to travel and see this land, life at sea has never been easy for sailors. I concede that it is much easier in this day and age than in centuries past, but the nature of the sea is constant, created by God, unable to stray from its strict obedience to Him since far before you or I. Emerging from within the cold steal wall of this gray hulk to the fresh air of the open sea is always a treat, but today was different, maybe breathtaking, if you will. The Sun was bright, blinding, and warm on my skin, and even though the breeze was cool and pleasant, it reminded me of the penetrating grace of Gods Glory. That Sun radiated its warmth and comfort through my skin and I longed to remain in it all day. Even the wake of the ship was hurrying in its own little breakwater way to escape the shadows of the hull, reaching for the sunlight in all its might and fury, dissipating in relaxation as the warming beams soothed their desire to be close to Him. It is very much the way I feel.
I stand shocked at how once the world is stripped away from view, God gets closer, is amplified, is present. If only these two different worlds that I live in could be one! The beauty and simplicity of the sea, the openness without distraction; if I could somehow overlay that onto the busy, chaotic, stress filled life on land, in our city, in our home. Maybe the reason we donít often hear God speak to us like we so often wish we would, is simply because the world is too noisy. Itís difficult to strip the distractions away and lay the open sea before us, seeing only Godís works. God wrote in Psalms 107:23, 24; ďThose who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters, they see the works of the Lord and His wonders in the deep.Ē Again today, God reveals the truth in his Word to me.