Last week Angela and I went to Myrtle Beach. It was nice to get away for a few days and just relax. One day, to cool off from the heat, we headed into the ocean. It felt great, but the waves were a lot rougher than they normally are at Myrtle. Angela and I were just floating around and talking, when all the sudden she started screaming and moving towards the shore.
At this point, I wasn’t sure what was going on. Did a crab pinch her foot? Did something bite her? If so, was it a shark? All I knew is I didn’t really want to stick around to let it get me too. Angela was struggling to walk, so I put my arm around her and we made our way back to the shore. She said that her knee was burning really bad. I told her it sounded like she got stung by a jellyfish. When we got back to the shore, you could see red marks all over her knee. It was clearly the handiwork of a jellyfish. At this point, all I could think of was the scene in LOST where Hurley is yelling at Jin to pee on his leg because he stepped on an urchin (a lot of people say urine is good for jellyfish stings too).
When Angela and I first got out of the ocean, we were complaining about how the water was so dark we couldn’t see the jellyfish coming. If the water had just been clearer, we probably could have avoided the whole situation. Have you ever been at a place in your life where you were wondering why everything was happening? Have you been in a place where things are not going right? I’ve been there before, and I always start to look around and try to figure out why I am there. I’ll be honest, it doesn’t usually start with looking at myself.
Later that day, we were hanging out at the pool. I noticed on the beach, next to the lifeguard stand, there were some flags flying. One of them read, “Caution,” and had a picture of jellyfish on it. That information would have been useful before Angela and I made the decision to go into the ocean. In fact, with that information we probably would have made the decision to go to the pool to cool off. Instead, Angela got a nasty rash on her knee that still has not completely gone away.
In life, God has laid out some warnings for us. Galatians 6:7-8 says, “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.” If you are ever asking why, let your first response be, “What am I doing?” I have found this as a good place to start. I have found that most of the time there is a simple solution to my problems. That solution is normally that I have been sowing into myself and not into God. When I bring my focus back to God, I no longer find myself asking why. Instead I see the blessing He has for me.
until next time…