Hours seemed like days -- Up and down, up and down the boat bobbed. The horizon my only steady reprieve on the rolling open ocean. I braced myself from one gut exploding convulsion to another. What had promised to be a fun, relaxing company event filled with hoisting exotic fish from the deep, had quickly become one of the most miserable experiences in my recent memory.
In our convenience saturated safe society it is not often we get the privilege of pondering the reality of death – yeah, I thought it could actually happen. My mind raced with scenarios of never reaching shore for over 5 hours during our travels through the choppy waters 20 miles off shore. Dark cold sprays of ocean showered me incessantly stealing my heat and numbing my limbs on the two hour journey back. Death is real and it comes upon everyone - some sooner than others.
My mind tossed in time with my gut from soul steadying scriptures to imaginings of my own end. Why not me? A hometown girl in her twenties was recently murdered by her own husband with their kids still in the house. A few years ago, a college student riding a long board to class fell and instantly- dead. Tomorrow is promised to no man. “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time then vanishes” –James 4:14.
As I think back to Sunday’s experience I am genuinely grateful to have suffered. My prayer now is that I wouldn’t quickly forget the hours of that day when I clung to Christ as tight as I clung to the railing of that pitching boat. Let’s not dismiss our sufferings flippantly but allow them to strengthen us; to preach truth us. Let them inform us of the greater realities that are so easily drowned out by media. Eternal consequences hang in the balance for our souls. The fight is real – let not our faculties be lulled to sleep!
This is just one reason we can’t wait to get to UVA and minister to the athletes of the hope and joy that remains in Christ alone. Not only do temporary difficulties fade as light and momentary afflictions, but the eternal weight of glory that is to come ministers to our spirit and encourages our soul to joy and faith.
Christ is not only our bulwark throughout the tempest of life’s buffeting, he is our great Savior who testifies to our Father that we may enter eternal joys.
We are so thankful for you and your continued support of our ministry together!
Praying for you, Connor and Bekah