Sunday, July 15, 2007

God's Smile

Oh, so many things I want to share with you today. More about Jesus’ calm, quiet confidence; thoughts from the sermon I heard this morning; excerpts from the new book I’m writing. But those entries will have to wait. (Yes, you may consider this to be a preview of my blog this week…Of course, I am a woman and I reserve the right to change my mind at any given moment!) For now I have settled on talking about the sweet thing God did yesterday.
Brian and I and the kids spent the afternoon and evening yesterday visiting a friend of ours who lives on a lake. This friend is single and has no children so she was eager to share the fun of being on a lake with my kids. After the kids ran through her house and admired the space and the view of the lake, we all got our suits on and boarded the boat. (Though I honestly had no intention of getting into the water! It was just too cold, IMHO.) We rode around on the lake for awhile and stopped at one place to swim. Brian and Elizabeth got into the water, but the boys and I opted to stay dry. Another time Matthew got into the water, too, and as I visited with my friend I could tell Joshua wasn’t really enjoying himself. However, I was hopeful he would perk up when we went back to the house and he got to go fishing.
Upon our return, I found my hopes fading. Joshua was a bit cold, he was bored from waiting for everyone to be ready to leave the swimming hole, he couldn’t find any worms for bait, and he had a headache. (Which I’m pretty sure was a physical manifestation of his attitude and disappointment.) I helped Joshua look around for worms, but only found bugs, so he set off to fish with his rubber worms and other lures. However, the fish in that lake are not like the fish in the river by our house and they showed absolutely no interest in Joshua’s offerings. He was very disappointed and I was sorry for his frustration. I so wanted him to be collecting fun memories rather than regret. However, try as I might, I couldn’t do anything to help him.
Then, from out of nowhere, Elizabeth called out, “I found a worm!” Joshua ran off the dock to get his prize and promptly threaded it on his hook. I think he was back on the dock, line cast and ready, in less than a minute. This was all very nice, and I was so pleased with Elizabeth for finding that worm but in all honesty, I thought, It’s the middle of the afternoon and boats are going all over the water. What is the chance he’s going to get a nibble, even if he does have a real worm? Oh, me of little faith.
Just moments after I let that thought go through my head, Joshua called out, “There’s a really big fish over here!” I was truly surprised, as we hadn’t seen any fish all day. I started praying. God, I know this really isn’t a big deal. Catching fish really isn’t important. But if You would just let Joshua catch that fish, oh, he would be so happy.
I knew nothing major would benefit from such a catch. World peace would still be an issue. Gas prices would still be way too high. And chances are the debate over cloth vs. disposable diapers would continue. But I also knew catching a big fish would make a world of difference in Joshua’s day and I knew God could let it be if He wished.

He wished.

Joshua quickly and carefully walked off the dock, proudly displaying the very large Large Mouth Bass he’d just hooked. He relished in his feat for a moment before releasing his catch, since no one knew how to cook it and no one wanted to clean it. None of that mattered. Joshua was just thrilled to have caught this very large fish.
After the bass, Joshua caught several little Blue Gill and there was a noticeable spring in his step. His headache went away, too! Later in the evening, as we were eating dinner, Joshua was talking about how cool it was that he'd caught such a big fish. I told him I had asked God to let him catch it. He smiled and said, "Thank you." I smiled back and said, "Thank God!" He did.
Since Joshua was feeling better after dinner, he decided to join in on the other fun everyone was having - which included tubing with Elizabeth and Matthew behind the boat. Oh, did they ever have a great time! As I watched my kids bouncing over the water on the tubes, admired the huge smiles on their faces, thought about the new experiences they were having, and remembered that very large bass, I thanked God for the wonderful day we were having and His favor in the fish department.
I have a friend who would say God smiled at my family yesterday. He did sweet things and poured out blessings on us which were totally unnecessary. We didn't need or deserve any of it. I think the whole day was a sweet expression of His love, and I am so thankful for His smile.
How have you noticed Him smiling at you?

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Shawna said...

The lake is so fun! We just had a lake party for my husband's birthday. Isn't it great that God even provides the "little" things?! I'm glad you whole family had a wonderful time!

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

What a sweet story. It seems if we open our hearts up to God even in the little things, He is so good to be a part of them.
It sounds like a very nice, relaxing time for you. :)

Anonymous said...

As my friend would say, "He's chasing you down with His goodness!" I love the fact that the God of the Universe cares about the little things.

Speaking Thru Me Ministries said...

all i can say is SMILEPLZ. I even have that on my license plate... i get lots of silly looks!!

have a wonderfully awesome day!

Jenny said...

I love that story. I've prayed that prayer for my children many times when we go fishing. I know He's smiling at me. I don't really have a specific story to tell, but I know He's smiling. Somedays, I just need Him to hold me in His lap and tell me it's OK, and just smile.