Hagerstown Christian Church Hagerstown Christian Church

JUST THINKIN'

 

7.29.21

RECENTLY … I WAS REMINDED OF A PARTICULAR MEMORY OF MANY YEARS OF VACATION AT OCEAN CITY, MD.  THESE VACATIONS WITH FAMILY WERE FILLED WITH MANY GOOD & WONDERFUL MEMORIES. BUT AGAIN …  THE ONE PARTICULAR MEMORY I AM SPEAKING OF IS ONE I HAD OF TIMES I SHARED WITH MY BROTHER-IN-LAW MIKE – MY SISTER KELLY’S HUSBAND.

NOW, THIS MEMORY HAD IT’S BEGINNING ROOTED IN THE YEARS MY DAD WOULD TAKE US KIDS OUT IN DEPTHS UP TO HIS NECK … & HOLD ONE OF THE OLD CANVAS RAFTS THAT COULD BE RENTED ON THE BEACH PER HOUR - AT ANY POINT DURING THE DAY.

MY DAD WOULD STAY OUT IN “THE DEEP” HOLDING THAT RAFT WHILE ONE OF US (MYSELF, MY BROTHERS AND SISTER) WOULD SQUIRM OUR WAY UP ONTO THE RAFT … AS HE HELD IT … WAITING TO CATCH THE PERFECT WAVE!  AND WOW … DID WE EVER CATCH THE GOOD ONES!  ALL OF US KIDS HAVE ENJOYED ALL THOSE MEMORIES!  (TX DAD!)  AND I CAN TELL ‘YA … US BOYS CHESTS WOULD BECOME SO SORE FROM RIDING THAT RAFT OVER AGAIN & AGAIN!

AS WE DID THAT OVER THE YEARS WHEN YOUNG … AS I GOT INTO MIDDLE SCHOOL YEARS, MY INTEREST IN RIDING THE WAVES & “ROLLING IN THE WAVES” WHEN I FELL OFF THE RAFT – GREW INTO AN INTEREST IN A “BIGGER RIDE”.  THE PURSUIT OF THAT  “BIGGER RIDE” LED ME TO PLEAD WITH MY DAD TO LOOK FOR A 2-MAN INFLATABLE BOAT!  WOOO-HOOOOOOO … NOW WE’RE TALKIN’!  I WAS SO EXCITED THE DAY WE BOUGHT MY FIRST ONE!  AND WOW … THE EXCITEMENT THAT CAME THE FOLLOWING DAY!!

I SO ENJOYED THE DAYS OF RIDING THOSE WAVES IN THAT 2 PERSON BOAT!  AND NOT ONLY AT THE BEACH … BUT ALSO BACK HOME HERE IN HAGERSTOWN ON THE MANY SATURDAY MORNING BREAKFASTS WE HAD AS A FAMILY UP AT “HARDING PARK” IN PECTONVILLE AREA. UP & DOWN THE “LICKING CREEK” (AFTER BREAKFAST) … ON MY OWN … WITH MY IMAGINATION RUNNING WILD AS I PADDLED & FLOATED UNDER TREE LIMBS & ALONG THE BANKS WHERE MANY RUN-DOWN VACATION HOMES & SUCH HAD BEEN DELAPIDATING OVER THE YEARS. 

BUT BACK TO THE BEACH MEMORY …

AS I GREW OLDER, MY SISTER KELLY – WHO WAS 5 YRS. OLDER THAN ME – GREW OLDER OF COURSE. AND … SHE STARTED DATING MIKE. AND IN THESE YEARS … THE ONE PARTICULAR MEMORY I WRITE OF TODAY STARTED TAKING FORM.  AS KELLY & MIKE STARTED COMING DOWN TO THE BEACH ON THE WEEKEND … MIKE OF COURSE, WOULD JOIN WITH ME ON THE 2-MAN BOAT.   HERE WE GO!

WE RODE SO MANY OF THOSE “HUGE” (IN OUR MINDS) WAVES OVER & OVER AGAIN!  WE WERE FLIPPED … ROLLED … THROWN OUT … & CRASHED!  WE HIT THE OCEAN BOTTOM, GOT SCRAPED & “SEA-SHELLED” … & GOT UP & BACK OUT THERE FOR MORE!  DON’T TELL ANYONE, BUT WE EVEN RODE OVER SOME PEOPLE ON THE RIDE IN ON THOSE WAVES (NOT PURPOSEFULLY OF COURSE!).   BUT ALONG WITH ALL THE TUMBLES … SCRAPES … & CRASHES, CAME A BOAT-LOAD OF LAUGHS!

AND HERE’S WHERE IM JUST THINKIN'... THRU ALL THE WAVES & CRASHES, I WAS LEARNING A  LIFE-LESSON THAT WOULD EVENTUALLY GROW TO BE A HUGELY IMPORTANT LESSON TO ME!  LIFE’S BEEN KINDA’ LIKE THOSE BOAT RIDES … TO BE HONEST.  AND I KNOW THAT I’M NOT THE ONLY ONE (WRITING THIS/READING THIS) WHO CAN SAY THAT.

THERE ARE TIMES IN WHICH LIFE TENDS TO “THROW US OUT” … “ROLL US OVER” … “SCRAPE US UP” … IN THE MIDDLE OF ENJOYING THIS LIFE.  AND MAN – IT STINKS!!!

BUT ‘YA KNOW … I’VE FOUND THAT GOD IS JUST BETTER THAN ANY “BOAT” I COULD EVER RELY ON! 

HE HAS ALWAYS CARRIED ME THRU -  ALL THE WAY!

HE HAS NEVER DUMPED ME OUT. IT’S ALWAYS BEEN ME … WHOSE CHOSEN TO NOT TRUST HIM & ROLLED MYSELF OUT.

HE HAS NEVER FLIPPED ME INTO THE “TORRENTS” OF LIFE. IT’S ALWAYS BEEN ME … WHOSE CHOSEN AN UNWISE PATH – NOT TRUSTING HIM TO GUIDE ME CORRECTLY … RIGHTEOUSLY.

AND, UNLIKE WHAT MIKE & I EXPERIENCED ONCE WHEN OUR “2-PERSON WATERCRAFT” BURST  ON US …

MY HEAVENLY FATHER HAS NEVER DEFLATED ON ME. IT’S ALWAYS BEEN ME - WHOSE NOT ALLOWED OR HAS HINDERED THE “REFRESHING FILLING” OF HIS SPIRIT IN ME.

MY FRIEND, I HAVE NEVER FOUND GOD TO BE …   LESS THAN ALMIGHTY

MY FRIEND, I HAVE NEVER FOUND GOD TO BE …   PROVIDING ANYTHING LESS THAN ALL OF MY NEEDS

MY FRIEND, I HAVE ALWAYS FOUND GOD TO BE …  COMPLETELY STRONGER THAN ANY OF MY PERSONAL / SPIRITUAL FOES

MY FRIEND, I HAVE NEVER FOUND GOD TO BE …    ANYTHING LESS THAN FULLY CAPABLE TO HEAL ALL OF MY WORLDLY & SELF-INFLICTED INJURIES

“You have been borne by me from your birth, carried from the womb; even to your old age I am he, even when you turn gray I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save” (Is. 46:3-4).

CHURCH … IT IS MY HOPE THAT YOU HAVE FOUND, AND ARE FINDING – OUR GOD TO BE THIS IN YOUR LIFE!

LIFE IN HIM, IS WHAT MAKES THIS LIFE BOTH FUN & ENJOYABLE!

LOVE YA’S …

PASTOR BRAD