My two youngest sons were recently home on a school break. They decided to kayak down a small river near our home. It was a pleasant day, warm for the winter month. It sounded like a great idea.
They gathered their kayaks and other stuff necessary for young men who want to kayak: snacks, bottled water, and a Bluetooth speaker for tunes. My youngest took his digital camera.
I drove with them to the drop off spot. The afternoon was quickly passing and they were beginning their trip a little later than anticipated. Still, they had made this trip numerous times; they had experience. They had a cell phone to keep me updated. I would see them in a couple of hours. They got into their kayaks and I went home to bake cookies for their return.
Two hours passed; my husband got home from work. I told him about the kayak trip. He looked concerned. He reminded me that it had rained the previous night and the river was up. I had forgotten about the rain, and also about the effects that hurricane Michael had on our area in recent months, lots of rainfall, lots of downed trees.
The daylight faded into twilight with no word from our sons. We tried calling them. No answer. My husband decided to wait for them at the landing spot. An hour later, the phone rang. An unfamiliar voice had news about our sons. He and his hunting buddies had found them calling for help across the river. The hunters helped our boys find their way out of the forest, a five-hour hike.
Unbeknownst to me, as I baked cookies, our sons had both capsized in the fast current of the river as they had approached a downed tree 20 minutes into their trip. My youngest had tried to hold on to his kayak. His big brother wisely counseled him to give it up. Both boys made it safely to the bank. Thick underbrush cut their bodies as they tediously hiked. Thanks to the hunters, they made it through the woods and back to the road.
Six hours after leaving home, our boys walked through our back door. Both kayaks were lost. My youngest lost his phone, his camera and that Bluetooth speaker. They were scratched, worn and cold.
It alarmed me to think that while my sons faced peril, I was happily baking cookies in my kitchen. I did not know to plead with God for their safety. I didn’t realize they were in need of rescue. But, my Heavenly Father did. He is the Heavenly Father of my sons as well. They prayed for their own safety and prayed to find their way home. And that Heavenly Father was working on their behalf. He is always working; Jesus told us so in John 5:17:“My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I too am working.”
God is always at work even when we have no idea that He is working. He is working in impossible situations. He is working in homes, in hearts, next door and across oceans. God is a big God and He is always at work. He is worthy of our complete trust.
Weekly Memory Verse
My precious husband, Bill, and I have been planted in Fort Myers, Florida for almost 35 years. As a newly married couple, God most graciously had placed people in both of our jobs to share Christ with us. Its hard to believe it has been almost 34 years since we asked Jesus into our hearts! Bill and I have been blessed with four children, 3 daughters, then a son. These blessings came quickly, all within 6 years!! During these years I'm so thankful I was able to be part of women's ministry classes at our church, helping me to grow in my walk with Him. Then came the day when I was asked that question that stretched me way outside of my comfort zone...will you teach a class? Its hard to believe that I have now been teaching more than 20 years. Bill and I love to travel, most of the time going to visit our 9 grandchildren, oh ya, and their parents! I also love reading, walking and hanging out with some very special young moms in Beloved that bless my socks off!
Julie is a Kansas girl who resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She's been married to her husband Sean for 23 years and they share two boys ages 21 & 17. She enjoys baking and biking, but her absolute favorite thing is snow skiing which is a little difficult to do in a sandy 80 degree land.
She became a follower of Christ at age 10. She loves studying and teaching God's Word. She has a passion for encouraging moms to love and follow Jesus.
Beth grew up in a loving home; however, in her early 20s she faced a very lonely time. During that time, she cried out to God and asked “If You are real, please show yourself to me!” God met her where she was and she trusted in the Lord Jesus at that time. Her life verse and desire is “no matter what happens, to conduct herself in a manner worthy of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
Beth now resides in Tampa, Florida with her husband Larry. The Lord has blessed them by blending their family of five children. They currently have eight grandchildren and are hoping that there will be more grandchildren in the future.
Donna accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of nine and has been amazed at God’s goodness and faithfulness throughout her life. She has been blessed to have had many mentors through each season of life, who have shown her what trusting God looks like. Donna and her husband, Bryan, make their home in central Arkansas. They have five grown children and are grandparents to wonderful grandchildren. Donna enjoys spending time with her family, laughing with friends (usually over coffee), going for long walks with her husband, and reading a good book (which may also be accompanied by a cup of coffee).
Sarah is a true Florida Cracker. She was born and raised in Southwest Florida. At the age of 6, Sarah accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior, and she hasn't looked back since. Hebrews 13:8 is one of her favorite verses, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Eating delicious desserts, spending time with her family and friends, and teaching people about Jesus are a few of the things she enjoys to do in her spare time.
Sarah has been married to her best friend and husband, Brandon, for 7 years. They have been blessed with one beautiful, determined son, Asher, who keeps them on their toes. Sarah and her family live in the Tampa area. They love exploring their community together, family hugs, and eating pizza whenever possible.
Katie Flint just recently moved back home to Fort Myers, Florida with her husband, Ryan and two children, Collins and Madden. At the age of 5, Katie accepted Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of her life, after attending Vacation Bible School. Through each phase of her life, God has shown her that He alone is trustworthy. The verse that has been her life source is Psalm 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”
She is a stay-at-home mom and enjoys exercising and baking. She has been married to her husband Ryan for almost 9 years, who is her high school sweetheart. They enjoy trying new restaurants, family trips to the beach, and relaxing at home.
Marsha grew up in a small rural town in upstate New York. In 2006, after finishing college, she moved to sunny SW Florida where she met her, now husband, Shawn. Together they enjoy spending family time with their two fun-loving toddler boys Zachariah and Kairos.
Marsha enjoys living an active lifestyle, which is helpful, considering that her favorite hobby is baking.
Though she attended church as a child, Marsha was not saved until adulthood when her eyes were finally opened to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Since being saved, God has placed a loving burden on her heart to share the truth about God’s healing grace with those who may feel like forgiveness is not possible for them.