So... As you all know, there was another horror story about a cruise boat at sea... And what a horror story it was! The Carnival Triumph was stranded out at sea after a fire started in the engine area. All 4,200 passengers were left to drift out in the Caribbean without electricity and without toilets. I love the last line in the paper that quoted this fellow who is an expert in the cruise industry as saying, "The fire could have potentially been serious." I'm thinking those 4,200 people thought it was quite serious going 5 days without electricity and toilets!
So... since cruise boats are going to be the brunt of jokes for quite some time, I thought I would tell you one of my favorite cruise boat stories. I'm a cruise-boat-junky! John and I have cruised 9 times... and I'm glad to report that we have had all the flushes we've ever needed...
Most people sleep late when they are on vacation, but John thinks he will turn stale if he's in bed after 5:00 am. I'm not a late sleeper either, and on one particular morning, I jumped out of bed, grabbed my bible and headed to the top deck. It was a clear, breezy-warm morning... there were clouds on the horizon... the ocean was like glass... and after I jumped over a few barriers and 'keep out' signs, I found a spot where there was absolutely no one. This is highly unusual on a cruise boat because the cleaning guys dressed in jumpsuits wipe everything down every day before anyone gets up. I settled into a lounge chair and prepared myself for the most glorious sunrise in all of history.
I was not disappointed. I could see a hundred miles in every direction (I'm guessing.) As the sun was rising in the east, the storm clouds on the west caught the brilliance. I could see ribbons of gray rain in the distance.
I told my heavenly Father exactly what I thought. I used every adjective for the word 'beautiful' that I could think of... and even made some up! I worshipped... I praised.... I sang... on and on...
And then a thought sprang into my head, "Father, You know how I love rainbows. I think I would lose it all if I saw a rainbow right now. But Father, I don't think it's right that I should say that... That's terrible! I shouldn't ask God for a rainbow!!!"
And in an instant, the most beautiful rainbow filled the western sky.
It was brighter than any I've ever seen... more brilliant than possible... and most of all, because of the timing, I truly felt it was for me and for my pleasure.
God was showing off... wooing me closer to Himself.
And from the tip of my toes to the top of my head, I could FEEL God's pleasure with me. I knew that I knew that I knew, Zephaniah 3:17 was true:
"The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing."
And folks, that's not just for me. He's that crazy in love with you, too.
YOU please Him.
He delights in YOU.
He rejoices over YOU with singing.
Please take some time this Lenten season to be still with God. Be still and know that He is God. Let Him do some talking. Let Him communicate with you. Listen...
"Be still and know that I am God"