For most of June and July, Jason and I talked about canceling this beach trip. Between Covid and the protests in Ocean City, MD, we did not want to do anything that would add stress considering one of the reasons we get away is to relax.
By late July, Ocean City protests were over, and PA lifted the quarantine ban on travel to Delaware, MD and New Jersey.
I began asking the Lord for weather to enjoy His sand and His sea.
Truly, I tell you. God hears our every prayer, spoken and unspoken. I stand firmly upon this as my prayer life has evolved over time. In faith, I talk to Him, trusting He hears little ole me from the minute to the most heart-changing things.
When Jesus arrived at the home of Lazarus, He prayed to His Father before acting in His will. Jesus also demonstrated trust in His Father always to hear:
So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me” (John 11:41-42).
May we remember how Jesus taught us Our Father hears.
May we remember how Jesus taught us all things are for His glory:
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (John 11:40).
Each day of our vacation, God gave us weather to enjoy His sea and sand.
That was in the midst of storms!
Before I share with you how God revealed Himself as He answered my prayer for weather, you must know all three of the Dibble men enjoy the beach more than their mountain-loving wife/mama.
It’s not that I despise the beach. I simply prefer the mountains any and all times of year.
On our first day, both our young men headed to the water. The waves were calling their names:
We arrived Wednesday, the day after the hurricane blew through. A chill moved through His ocean and His wind at different points … and so did His jellyfish:
Braedon spotted the first one and promptly changed his mind about going in the water. Jackson, on the other hand, is our Peter, heading out into the water trusting the Lord, even if for a couple minutes.
The weather turned after a scant two hours the first day. Our beach manna, says the Lord. I encouraged Braedon to research the type of jellyfish he saw to learn their potential for harm. For this mama knew, Braedon would avoid the water for the rest of the time if he didn’t get the facts.
It was a quick first beach day. Not many photos. Nothing to write home about EXCEPT THE LORD ANSWERED THE PRAYER OF HIS DAUGHTER TO GIVE US WEATHER TO ENJOY HIS SEA AND SAND. Hallelujah!
We stayed 3 nights. Each night we watched one of three Spider Man movies, the series with Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire. The story line included everything from tragedy, death, love and the process of becoming who you are meant to be. God is actually mentioned more than once in these three superhero movies. Poor Old Aunt May was praying the Lord’s prayer asking God to deliver her from evil when a villain attacked her.
It was amazing to learn God showed up in the Amazing Spider Man movies, but even more amazing that He gathered the four of us three nights in a row to be together where He always is, with us, in us.
When we woke up the next morning, we had rain on every side, showing at most hours of the day.
We don’t fear, we trust.
At a break in the rain, we threw on our suits and jammed the car with towels.
That’s Braedon under there. The jellyfish do not have enough power to sting beneath human skin, he told me. That information sufficed until he saw the jellyfish with the purple center …
After looking at this photo, I was struck in awe of His sea. It looks like His sea continues forever, vast, mysterious. I am at a loss of words to describe His ocean. Imagine where our words will go when we meet Jesus face-to-face.
Then when I look at this photo, I see His sky, His sea and our two children whom I believe in my heart will share heaven with me and Jason.
Forever is the middle when Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. Forever is a gift we take for granted on this earth when we focus on problems, stress … or when we idolize sources of fake hope instead of worshiping Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior alone.
All glory to God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit!
Our third day, much like Jesus’ third day, was the longest … on the beach, that is. God made the way for our family to spend hours on the beach, a saturation, a cup overflowing with His goodness.
By this day, Braedon exercised great caution. It did seem as though there was an abundance of jellyfish, perhaps shaken coastward through all the storms.
To my mama’s heart’s delight, Braedon spent time finding shells for me. Twice he came up from the edge of water holding precious gifts for his one and only mama.
Jason joined Braedon in this quest. Jason found the curly one pictured here.
Though I wanted Braedon to enjoy the water, I was immensely blessed … not only by the shells but by his sweetness and joy in the giving.
Our Jackson did not want to go in himself, goaded his big brother. I encouraged Jackson to let Braedon be who he is and to go play in the water and be who he is.
Then God moved the three men together. Jason decided he would go in the water, maybe just a little:
I was reading on the beach. The next thing I knew:
Not that we shall expect God to spoil us, but when we pray expectantly, trusting in the Giver, quite often we receive more than we could ever think to ask for. I believe God is always doing a new thing (Isaiah 43:19), but we so miss it when we stick our nose in a book, reducing our expectations to the answer we want.
Let us open our eyes to His anew by seeking His will and His heart as He orchestrates our lives.
Both Jackson and Jason said to me, separately, how awesome it was to have time together in the water. Praise God!
Now all glory to God, who is able through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think (Ephesians 3:20, NLT).
Before I close this post, I want to thank you so much for being here. I want to encourage you to praise, pray, worship here and anywhere, showing the world whom you love first.
At some point during our last and longest day on the beach, I took our young men to walk the boardwalk while Jason rested on the beach.
This sand sculptor could have created anything. Instead, he made all of us a powerful reminder of who our Lord is and what He did for us, right there in plain view on the Ocean City boardwalk.
May Our mighty God lead you to shine His light in this broken world. May He draw more broken hearts to Himself this hour. May His love motivate and cultivate fruitful harvests in hurting places. May we all thank Him for the unending gifts of mercy, grace, wisdom and power He bestows. May we all be strengthened in our individual families as much as in the family of God.
I am praying about a Part 3. I have a bag full of sea shells “speaking” to me.
I welcome any thoughts and testimony of how He is working in your lives.
Feel free to leave a comment here or email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love in Christ,