For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:10-12
I remember the first time I saw the ocean. I was 16 and our high school choir had taken a trip or Orlando. I remember seeing the ocean for the first time and thinking it was cool, but I don’t think I paid enough attention to appreciate the awesome sight that was in front of me. (I was probably too busy thinking about girls).
Fast forward three years. The Baptist Student Union at my school took a mission trip to South Padre Island for spring break. I know, sounds funny doesn’t it? It was called Beach Reach. It was a great opportunity to share my faith with people who were down there for spring break. We also had the opportunity to offer rides for people who had been drinking too much to help keep them safe. I remember standing and staring at the ocean for a second time. Again, it was cool, but that was about it.
Move ahead two more years. I had just graduated college with a bachelors in “thank God I am out of school” when Marixa and I took our first cruise. I had never left the continental US before. I had never been in the middle of the ocean. It was awe inspiring. I looked out our window the first morning after we left. There was nothing as far as the eye could see. It was awesome, but it slipped into memory not long after.
Four years later I found myself on the beach at Padre once again. This time was very different than all of the others. I stepped out waist deep and let the water crash around me. The sun was just setting and the ocean and sky seemed to meet each other to flow together. I remember the sounds of the waves crashing. The feel of the mist on my face. It was a holy moment that I treasure.
With a good friend by my side I gave thanks to God. I was less than three weeks out of chemotherapy. The testicular cancer that had invaded my body was gone. I was tired. I was bald. I was gaining strength, but still felt weak. I was so incredibly thankful. The same God that had spoken the ocean into existence had saved my life.
Having gone through that same cancer again all these years later, I am still so thankful that God has a plan for my life. I look forward to seeing it unfold. If the one who made the oceans is watching over me…I am good.