I stood on the deck of the Ruby Princess cruise ship, looked out into the deep blue Caribbean Sea, and wondered how Peter the disciple ever had the courage to get out of the boat and walk on water. Of course, this is a big body of water I reminded myself, and Peter was on the small Sea of Galilee. Oh yes, another thing. . .he was walking toward Jesus, his eyes focused on Him alone. Suddenly Peter went from 'walking by faith' to sinking. What happened? He looked around at the reality of his situation and saw the wind whipping up the water. A storm was coming and he began to panic. He might drown! All that changed was he took his eyes off Jesus! I can relate to that. You can find this story of Peter walking on water in Matthew 14: 22 - 33. Just in case you don't know the end of the story. . .let me assure you, the Lord came to Peter's rescue, reached out His hand and saved him.
'By faith', my husband put together a family cruise for eight of us. We would board the ship in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Three of us came from the San Diego area, one from Denver, two from New York City, and two from North Carolina. When we all stepped onto the ship, like pieces of a puzzle falling into place, I thanked the Lord for orchestrating, what appeared to me, a miraculous event! There were so many details to keep track of for all of us, airplane reservations, hotel, car rental, dog kennel, etc. When I took my eyes off Jesus - combing my mind for what I may have missed, or thinking of what could go wrong, I began to drown in lack of self-confidence. And then, like Peter, the Lord would grab me and I would again feel safe and know He was in control and all would work out "in conformity with the purpose of his will", Ephesians 1:11.
I must admit, I'm a strong-willed independent type of person, so 'being free' to make my own decisions, good or bad, is appealing. When I get too far out of line, the Lord reminds me that "He knows how we are formed, and he remembers that we are dust", Psalms 103:14. Dust isn't very smart! And certainly not 'all knowing'. Yes Lord, I'll be grateful for your compassion - none of this 'free-will' stuff! He knows me, He knows you. If our will was free we'd be able to mess up His perfect plan. Not going to happen! Think this through; a Biblical truth that can change your life. . .God is in control, always.
My cousin from Denver broke his ankle shortly before the trip and had to hobble around on crutches - often God's timing isn't to our liking. Our daughter from New York City was recuperating from shoulder surgery and enjoyed having massages and going to the art auction. Son Steve loved all the food and entertainment. He even won a few dollars in the casino playing the penny 'slots'.Our grandsons, 18 and 19 years old, had such a good time and met many young people on board, some from Alaska. This age is a pivotal time of life, a great time to be with family, be loved, soak up some wisdom and be encouraged. It was so good to have our son-in-law helping and taking charge when needed.
I was standing in line one day with others from our cruise and started talking to a couple, mostly the woman. Her husband was listening and asked me, "Where did you say you were from?" I told him I was from the San Diego area. "Did you say your name is Bobbe?" Turns out he's a pastor and recently begin to think he should write a Bible blog, but first wanted to see what kind of Bible blogs were out there in cyber space. He probably started alphabetically and came across mine, 'Bobbe's Bible Blog'. He told me he'd read several of my postings and enjoyed them. There are only about 2,000 in the whole world who've ever read this blog - what's the chance that I'd be standing next to someone in the Caribbean who did? Small miracle!
The last day of the cruise, I was relaxing on a chaise lounge in a quiet area of the ship, enjoying a good book. I was trying to adjust the back of the lounge when it suddenly collapsed on my hand, nearly crushing it. I was pinned, couldn't reach over to free my hand . . .and it hurt, big time! It just so happened that a woman walked out of a door close to where I was trapped, and heard my call for help. She was able to free my hand and even got me an ice pack. Sore and swollen, black and blue, but I could move my fingers and thumb without pain, surely no broken bone. I didn't plan on going to the doctor. But, I just happen to sit next to an orthopedic doctor while waiting to debark the ship. He saw my hand and said, "Get an x-ray when you get home." I did, sure enough, I have a broken wrist bone and will be wearing a brace for the next six weeks. God has authority over our 'comings and goings' and He has people in the right spot, at the right time.
I'm so grateful the Lord is ever watching and providing small miracles. This is evidence of a God who is personal and loves His children. I hope you notice them in your life. Look with the eyes of faith, and you'll see them too.
Before leaving for the trip, we left our little 8 lb. 'Min-Pin' with the breeder who gave him to us. He died! He'd be ten years old in July. He wasn't very healthy, had pancreatitis and diabetes. He never was quite 'normal', didn't have good vision, and didn't have a good sense of smell. We loved him, he was peppy, enthusiastic about going for a walk or ride in the car and seldom behaved as if he were sick. A brave little guy whose best friend was our granddog Daisy, a 70 lb Pit Bull mix. We miss Tiny; it's hard to loose a pet. No doubt it was easier on us not to be here when it happened, the Lord knew that to be true. Do you know that dog is GOD spelled backwards? Our pets are such a special gift from the Lord.
Thank you Lord for this wonderful time of family and resting in you, (Hebrews 4:10), thank you for miracles, big and small.
Bobbe Van Hise
- Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.