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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Do I really need a whale, God?



Welcome to "In Other Words!"
Today's Quote is:

It was Christmas vacation week for the children. We had just moved to NY state to begin a new pastorate in a small rural church near Binghamton. Our son was in 6th grade and we knew it would be hard for him to adjust mid-year to a new school and to make new friends. So we prayed.

God made a way for Dave to have a Christian teacher and even though we arrived mid-year, this teacher saw to it that Dave was able to participate in the class trip - a whale watchin g trip to the New England coast near Boston. He loved it and came home with such glowing reports of his trip, we decided to take a family vacation to the same area and see the whales for oursleves.

The humpback whales showed off for us that day, rising to the surface, spraying watery mists into the air and showing off their tails in awesome fluking maneuvers. Several even swam alongside the boat before disappearing into the depths. Though I know the humpbacks are too small in size to swallow a person, they are huge when they swim right by the boat. Watching them speed by did make the nervous butterflies dance in my stomach!

One of the most interesting facts I learned on that trip was that each humpback whale's tail fin markings were different - as unique as fingerprints are to us. Because of that, scientists were able to name and study individual whales in their respective pods.

I am awed by the creativity and love ouf our God. Not only does He create each of us with different appearances and abilities, He also takes the time to nurture those abilities so we can reach our fullest potential in Him!

I'm sure Jonah didn't appreciate the experience he had in the belly of that great fish God prepared to save his life, but that experience affected Jonah's future growth and ministry in a profound way. He left the beach where the whale vomitted him up and went to Nineveh. There he preached with such conviction and authority, that the whole city repented. Before his inner-whale experience, Jonah was wishy-washy and fearful. God knew this man needed the whale to fully develop his God-given abilities.

I may never be swallowed by a literal whale like Jonah, but there have been things of whale-like proportions that have swallowed or threatened to swallow me. But God used each experience to create growth and strength in me so I am able to minister for Him. If He thinks I need to experience the whale to grow, I will trust Him in that.

Thank You Lord for creating me as an individual and for taking the time to personally nurture that individuality so I may become the best me I can be for You!

***
Today's hostess is Deborah at her site Chocolate and Coffee. If you'd like to participate, blog about the quote on your site, then visit Deborah and leave your URL in the Mr. Linky box.

While you're there, leave her a comment and click on the other authors' blogs to read their perspective on this quote. There's always lots of good reading!

10 comments:

MiPa said...

Bonnie thank you for this post. I enjoyed reading it.

Betsy Markman said...

Thanks for the reminder that even those "I've been swallowed alive, spit out like bad milk, and have seaweed in my hair" days are for our good. God's love is amazing!

Patricia Warren said...

Bonnie, great post!

We lived in the Boston area for two years. Our homeschooling group went on a whale-watching trip along with a public school group...

When I look back, it was an amazing trip. The whales showed off for us and the two large touring ships that surrounded their pod.

My experience led me to learn a lesson a bit different from yours.

Except for the time we were actually with the whales, I had to keep my focus on the horizon behind us...the water was choppy and I tend to have motion sickness. As long as I could focus on the safety of the far off harbor, I was OK. My faith in the boat was shaky, but I knew that once my feet were planted on the solid ground (or Rock), I would be safe.

My relief at being back on solid land was immense...but the funniest part was getting to finally answer with clarity a question my son asked when he was 4 yrs old. I pointed out that "Yes, whales do spit." Of course, since he was nine when we took the whale watching trip, he just rolled his eyes and sighed, "Moooommmmmmm!"

Karen said...

Well said Bonnie as usual. I need those moments myself in the whale to re-think things and learn from my choices in life to keep me on track with the Lord. Thanks, Karen

Esthermay Bentley-Goossen said...

". . . each humpback whale's tail fin markings were different - as unique as fingerprints are to us."
????
I did not know this.
Creator God is Awesome!
:-)
Your IOW posts are always engaging, enjoyable to read, and I always learn new things!
Thanks for your thoughts on this one.
Blessings!
-esthermay

Esthermay Bentley-Goossen said...

". . . each humpback whale's tail fin markings were different - as unique as fingerprints are to us."
????
I did not know this.
Creator God is Awesome!
:-)
Your IOW posts are always engaging, enjoyable to read, and I always learn new things!
Thanks for your thoughts on this one.
Blessings!
-esthermay

Laurie Ann said...

Great post, Bonnie! I love your willingness to be swallowed by a whale if God wills it. I'm right there with you, sister!

Denise said...

Such an awesome post.

Tami Boesiger said...

...there have been things of whale-like proportions that have swallowed or threatened to swallow me. But God used each experience to create growth and strength in me...

How true. Nicely said. It gives me a new perspective.

LauraLee Shaw said...

What a perfect analogy, and one I won't soon forget.