Vacationing at God's Resort
-- My favorite vacation was the one I took for myself. Honestly, I
don't believe I had ever experienced the three R's - rest, refreshment, and
relaxation until I set out on this particular journey!
What made my trip so special was my visit to an island by the name of "Grace."
Perhaps you've heard of it? It's a remote location tucked far away from many
inhabitants. The closest civilization is a rather notorious city by the name
of "Striving." Perhaps, you've visited there as well. (I personally
don't care for all the clamor of the hectic pace). Every time I have gone
there I would come home totally exhausted!
Soon after I arrived at Grace Island, I met up with a friendly tour guide
whose name was Jehovah. He told me He was a "local" and could help
me find my way around just in case I should get lost.
Later on, I strolled along the shoreline and allowed the cool waves to splash
around my bare feet. I wondered how I had allowed myself to become so busy
doing good works. Somewhere along the line I had forgotten the
one verse I learned as a baby Christian ... "For by grace are you saved
through faith and that not of yourselves it is a gift of God, not of works,
lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
I realized that my belief of earning my way to heaven was like the enthusiastic
young man who received his plumber's license and was visiting Niagara Falls.
Observing it for a moment, he very confidently said, "I think I can fix
this!" How grandiose is that thinking? We begin to believe that somehow
God needs our help and His grace is no longer needed.
I broke away from my thoughts for a moment and laid my straw mat on the sand.
I decided to enjoy the breath-taking purple and orange of the setting sun.
Both the scenery and the lazy rhythm of the tide transfixed me. I heard in
my spirit an almost forgotten quote by Thomas Merton. "A saint is not
someone who is good, rather someone who knows the goodness of God."
Immediately, I felt my very foundation undergoing a violent shaking. The
first structures to fall were the steel beams of self-reliance! Soon, I found
myself at ground level in the middle of a heap of sand. How could this have
happened to me? My emotions were reeling back and forth from devastation to
elation. Abruptly, I heard the voice of Jehovah. I looked up and saw His huge
hand reach down to help me up out of the sand. I heard Him say, "Come,
there are many more sights you have yet to see."
The sky had now darkened as He held up a lantern. I, somewhat childlike,
began to trail behind Him. Instinctively, I knew I could trust my tour guide.
After all, He spoke fluent Grace
and all I had to do was to gain a
command of the language, and follow His footprints in the sand.
As He moved ahead, I noticed He slowly looked back at me. His tanned face
creased into a half smile. I got the impression that I was not the first sojourner
to lose my way. He turned back around. I faintly heard Him speaking while
the gentle sea breeze delivered His Words to my ears, "Thy word is a
lamp unto my feet a light unto my path." (Psalm 119:105)
I knew at that moment that I, more than likely, would become a native of
this beautiful place called "Grace." Who knows - maybe one day I'll
go to work for Jehovah as an assistant tour guide.
Devotions on Spiritual Life
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