Once upon a time, there was a group of young adults setting out on a voyage. They mapped out there voyage months before they shipped off. With their destination set to the Turks and Caicos Islands, they set sail leaving the Florida Keys behind. Days later, they stationed themselves about the boat in hopes of spotting land. According to the map, they should've been 200 miles from the islands. Hours passed, and still no land came into view. Evening came and they still had not reached land. With little hope, they gathered together, bowed their heads, and prayed.
Night had passed as the sun began to rise on the horizon. Still, with no sight of land, they feared what lay ahead. The water grew choppy and clouds slowly began to roll in. Where was God? Panicking, they prayed again. Hours passed as the rain fell lightly across the sea. What went wrong? Where were the islands? This journey was not going according to their plan.
By mid afternoon, worry set in. They only packed so much food. What if it ran out? What if they were stranded in the middle of the sea? Moments later, one of the girls looked across the ocean. She yelled up to the heavens, "God where are you? Why have you not answered?" As tears streamed down her face, land appeared. Shouts for joy were heard across the boat; soon they would make it to land.
Upon their arrival, they noticed that the people seemed different. The climate was a bit off from what they'd expected as well. Where had they landed? Confused, they asked a man sitting on the dock. "You're in Puerto Rico," said the man. In shock, the group decided it best to stay put and check into a hotel.
After checking in, they each took turns calling home. One of the young girls was first to make the call to let her parents know they were fine. Her father answered with great joy to find her and the group safely checked into a hotel. He had been concerned after watching the news the previous day and hearing of the massive hurricanes blowing through the Turks and Caicos Islands. After hanging up the phone, she turned to her friends and said, "God watched out for us and saved us from the storms."
Do you ever feel like God isn't answering your prayers? When it seems like God isn't answering, do you try to figure out the answer to your prayer yourself? How many times do you try to do things on your own without God?
This week, I've really been focused on what Christ meant when He said to pick up our cross and follow Him. There have been so many times when I felt sure I knew God's plans for my life, only to find out they were my plans, and not His. So often we map out our own path and throw God's plan to the side. But when it comes down to it, God's plan is way better than that of our own. Like the young adults who had mapped out their journey, they intended to land in the Turks and Caicos Islands only to find themselves in Puerto Rico. Thanks to our wonderful Savior, He saves us from our self. When we go to Him and ask for His guidance and His help, He will put us back on His path following after Him. I would much rather end up in the destination God has set for my life than one I've set for myself. God always answers prayers. They may not be answered in the way we want them to or in the time we hope for, but the goal is to continuously seek His guidance. For if we seek His will for our life, we seek His blessings.
The Line to Jesus:
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."
"The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth."