I had a friend who was going through a really hard time in her family. Specifically, her marriage. Her husband had not been saved & she had been praying for a really long time for him. Through some extremely traumatic events in their lives, he got saved! (Give God a shout!!) The thing is, although he was now saved, they were still facing circumstances in their lives that were unspeakable!! He needed a minute away – so, he drove down to the Pier & just sat, by himself. As he was sitting there a man approached him – a pastor of a local church. The pastor let him know that he came out there from time to time just to see if the Lord would lead him to someone that he could share the gospel with. This pastor felt drawn to my friend’s husband. Without hesitation, he opened up to this pastor & bore his soul to him. Before departing, the pastor prayed with him & reassured him that God was in control! Praise the Lord! He is in control!!
I had to work out of town a few weekends back. I thought about that experience this man had out on the Pier. I thought, I think I will go out there myself. The breeze will be nice, it was a magnificent day. The sun was shining. All seems right with the world when you get out there, looking at the beach, listening to the waves crash on the shore, feeling the warmth of the sun kiss your face. So surreal, so relaxing, so inviting. I walked up to the entrance of that Pier & thought – “Lord, if you can send someone to speak to my friend – surely You can find someone to speak to me also”. So, off I went… the Lord surprised me a little that day. He didn’t send a person to speak to me, for Him – He spoke to me Himself!! (grin) Here are the lessons I learned that day.
First of all, God gives us blessings from the very beginning! He doesn’t have to wait for something to happen in our lives to start the flow of blessings. You see, as I walked up to the entrance of the Pier, I realized there is now a charge to get onto the Pier. I didn’t have any cash with me that day – so I was going to leave. I did have my debit card, but didn’t want to use that for just a couple of dollars. The gentleman behind the window asked if he could help me – I explained that all I had was a debit card. He said, “no problem, go ahead”. He allowed me to enter – God knew He had a Word for me that day & used the gentleman behind the window to bless me from the very beginning!
Next, as I was entering the gate, asking God to send someone to me, He let me know that He is a Unique God. He doesn’t speak to everyone in the same way. He reminded me that His people are in need of very different things. If I would open my heart, my eyes, & my ears – He would indeed speak to me. But He would do it in a way that was unique to me! AWESOME!!
Now, the Pier has a very special meaning to me. It is a very sentimental place for me. As I stepped out, I realized how far it was to get to the end of it. (As you can see in the picture, of the Pier, above– it’s a long way – you can’t even see the end from this picture. What you see that looks like the end is actually only the half way point.) What God said to me next determined my trek to the very end of that thing – He said sometimes you must reach the end before you can get to the beginning. It took some questioning & answering for me to grasp the total meaning of that – in a nutshell – we must reach the end of ourselves for God to begin the work in us that He has planned! Get self out of the way & He will take it from there! This doesn’t just happen because we want it to – it is a leap of faith. Faith requires some effort & the next thing He said to me was that we will encounter obstacles along our journey of faith!
Just as I set out to reach the end of that Pier, I noticed along both sides there were people fishing from the sides. There were fishing poles, tackle boxes, ice chests – all sorts of things for me to walk around, step over, dodge, to get to my destination. I was determined to reach it. That determination is what got me through it – through the vast array of obstacles that were right in front of me. There were obvious obstacles, but then there were some not-so-obvious ones also. Hooks! That’s right, people were casting their baited hooks into the water – I had to be careful not to walk by when one was getting ready to cast it out. I didn’t want to get hooked by this obstacle, after all! We must be aware of what is going on around us, so as not to get hooked by Satan & the things he puts right in front of us – that may not be so obvious!
As beautiful as the day was, the wind from the Pier was insane! I had my hair down that day & whew… by the time I left that place, I was a sight to behold! NOT!!! I was so windblown. Not a very attractive look at all. Sometimes what we are called to do may not be exactly what the world sees as attractive or becoming – but if God calls you to it, He will help you through it! Obviously, life is not an easy journey to follow. There are things that are very ugly about it, but God is the brush through our windblown hair! He will be the one to smooth things out for us – when we turn it over to Him & allow Him to do what He does best!!! You see, I was there by myself that day – God also reminded me that sometimes it is our duty to get alone with Him. We must ask before we can receive! Getting alone with God is a necessity!!!
Last, but not least – God reminded me that we can’t stay where we are forever. Eventually I had to leave the Pier. When we find ourselves in the midst of a storm, battle, fire, trial – whatever you want to call it – He said “Angela, you won’t be here forever!” Sometimes when we are facing circumstances that look hopeless, we find ourselves in a pit – a pit of despair & self-pity. God does not want us to stay there! He wants us to look up to Him & keep on moving!! Which leads me to the very final point – He said PUSH!!! PUSH!!! PUSH!!! Pray Until Something Happens!
I read a quote the other day that just hit home with me. I don’t know who actually said it, but it came from Kirk Franklin’s twitter. It said this: “The biggest enemy to your faith will always be what you see & what your feel. Trust yourself or trust God. You choose!”