Battered Baggage and a Pacific Breeze

As the crow flies it’s 3210 miles from our house to the Big Island, but United must have consulted a dodo, routing us through Denver, Portland, and San Francisco on our way out of town. Just past dusk on the second day we flew into Kailua-Kona’s tiny airport; almost midnight Colorado time. My jet lag hadn’t even begun to catch up with the stress I’d brought from home. I was dragging a soul that was tired and torn, attacked and distraught. I hadn’t slept well in weeks.

We picked up our rental car, stopped at the supermarket, and (after a few wrong turns) found our condo in the dark. Sweat beaded up under our Colorado clothes in the Hawaiian humidity as we hauled our luggage up the stairs, adding to the already weird feelings generated by food court nutrition, fatigue, and a generous coating of travel cooties. Finally we got the bags inside and were just starting to get snippy with each other when Kevin pulled open the sliding glass door.

And the roar of the Pacific filled the room.

We stopped dead in our words. Waves crashed on the rocks one floor below us, leaving spray on the screen between us and the sea. A saltwater breeze wafted over our skin, and we looked at each other and grinned. We had made it. A year of scrimping and saving, months of toil without a break, and weeks of dealing with a difficult situation: all thousands of miles away. It was just the three of us now- me, Kevin, and God. We couldn’t wait to be together.

Over the next few weeks I’ll share the stories of ten remarkable days. While vacation always feels good, I can’t remember the last time I arrived feeling so beat up. Normally I give considerable thought and prayer to the devotionals and study materials I take traveling. This time, I hadn’t even brought my Bible. I was ready to lie down like Elijah in 1 Kings 19. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” ( 1 Kings 19:4b NIV) But just as God sent an angel to minister to Elijah and restore his strength, so the Lord himself ministered to me in ways I could never have imagined. Not because of anything I had done, or said, or deserved; only because I asked. He is my Father, my Lord, the Jesus who loves me. He never forsakes me, nor does He cease to amaze me.

I invite you to join me during the month of May as I share how God reminded me of His love, His power, and His mercy through sneaky crabs, snorkeling, and allowing the riffraff free access to the beach. What do sea turtles and the rings of Saturn have in common? The Lord God made them all, and showed them to me! Come with me and see the pictures He painted for this beat-up daughter, restoring my sanity and repairing my soul. To God be the glory! Amen.

From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God. (Romans 1:21 NLT)

©2011 Rachel Ophoff, Coconut Mountain Communications LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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