Shipwrecks & Snake Bites.

Sometimes it takes a few bad things to happen for something awesome to happen.

I don’t know if that makes complete sense for you but sometimes we have to go through things in order to be led on a certain path that God wants you to go. I don’t go by the rule of thumb that things just happen, I believe there is a God behind the scenes, who knows what is best for me and what I have to lose in order to gain. Can I just say this past Friday was a lame day. It wasn’t the worst day of my life but can I just say- It was FRUSTRATING! Not only did I spill a whole cup of coffee over my beautifully, well-kept MacBook Pro, I couldn’t find rice anywhere I went, and in my frantic rush (because the fate of my computer was slipping through my very own fingers), I backed up into a parked car- Yes, a non-moving target. Don’t ask. Fail, fail, FAIL. I promise I’m a good driver. For the record it was my first accident out of my driving career. Needless to say it was not a good day (Lunch with Denise of course made it better).

Tuesday at the Mix we were talking about how God uses our failures for foundations. As Paul was on his way to Rome I doubt he really wanted to go through a huge storm for two weeks only to be shipwrecked. And when he landed in unknown territory I highly doubt getting bit by a poisonous snake was on his top 10 things to do on a strange Island. Make a hut out of sticks or befriend a snake? I’m sure Paul threw his hands up in the air at some point and was like, “God, what is going on here?! Like a shipwreck wasn’t enough! A snake bite too!” Hmm– “As if spazing and spilling my coffee on my laptop wasn’t enough, I smashed into some guy’s bumper. Fannntastic.” Let me just say, what Paul went through does not even compare to my minors but my Friday was not as good as Rebecca Black’s. Although not my first choice to kickoff my weekend, without all those hangups I wouldn’t have met the people I met and had the experiences I experienced.

You see in the end, it took a shipwreck to get Paul on an Island that didn’t know about the gospel and it took being bit by a snake and not dying, to create a divine meeting with the head honcho of the terrain- Publius. Out of those failures, those things that seemed like they shouldn’t have happened- were exactly what needed to happen. Publius’ father was healed, the sick were brought to Paul and they were healed and the whole island heard about the love of Christ! Now that is a crazy story!

Yes, in nice terms, I temporarily re-altered Lawrence’s bumper. But you know what, the gecko that gets paid every month will help me with the damages and Lawrence was a really nice guy and Jewish. Sometimes studying for over a month in Israel strikes up a great conversation. Lawrence make your aliyah and head back to the motherland! It is awesome.

Most importantly because of my computer mishap, I called my dad to see if he would come with me to Apple and thrash out my options.

I haven’t had a great day like this with my father in years. One of the best memories with my dad that I recall so clearly is the one time we went to the beach. To be completely vulnerable, my eyes still well up when I think about it. No it was not summer and there were no bathing suits. Fall was in session and I still remember being in a sweatshirt, every so often sniffling from the cold. People were scarce and there were only a few older men fishing. I enrolled in my third photography class because I love art. I got this knack from my dad and the camera he retired to the shelf was passed down to me. It was one of the best moments ever. Everything he had learned and enjoyed he emparted to me as we searched for the perfect angles and compositions. Just as I would spot a great shot in my head, my dad would point and say “there.” We were so in sync. For the first time in a long time on the same page. I can still feel the SLR camera between my hands as I focused the majority of the frame on the rugged notches eroded in the wooden deck, blurring the background of a lone fisherman. Everything at home wasn’t perfect, it would all really fall apart within a year- but at that moment, the danger that anticipated our step in the future, was so ambiguous to us. In that one space of time that we shared, a father-daughter moment happened that I hold so close to me- there is nothing that can compare.

It’s painful how life can get messy.

I can say this because I know my father would agree and is open about it- After my parents split, he has been kind of absent from my life- some reasons in his control and out. Four years of distance creates a really big gash in a relationship. But I can say this, God has been more than faithful to me throughout it all.

If it wasn’t for my computer, I would have never asked my dad to come with me. If it wasn’t for the three hour wait, we wouldn’t have been able to go through my blog and share all that has happened in my life for a year. If it wasn’t for the $800 estimate of damages, my dad wouldn’t have said a quick prayer even though he admits, “I don’t think God even hears me anymore.” And if it wasn’t for God just being God- my computer wouldn’t have just started working, like nothing even happened, resulting in my father’s astonishment. Yes dad, God still hears your prayers little or huge- But he doesn’t want to just help you in the little, in the fleeting, he wants to help you in the big things, what really matters to your heart.

I learend a lot about redemption that day and really actually letting go of presuppositions I didn’t even know I had. Another facet of healing unveiled. Yes, my computer is fixed, I mean I am blogging, but I have so much more to be thankful for. Past the material and temporary. I’m thankful for the dinner we had together, I’m thankful for our enjoyment of talking about food (I totally got my food knack from my dad too), I’m thankful for the Tevanna tea we got, thankful for seeing Vilette again, thankful for having one-eyed Cash sit on my lap, thankful for watching a bootleg of Super 8 (ha, I had to). I’m thankful my dad was attentive to what I cared about. I’m thankful for our conversations about life, people, the random, my job and opportunities, and of course God and what it really means to live out a life with Christ.-As abnormal as it may appear. I’m really thankful for ruining my computer that Friday afternoon. For letting go of what could be, and allowing God to alter my steps into where I needed to be- with my dad, on that day. Why? Because he needed it and I needed it too. Thank God I’m not immune to these divine appointments and alternations- that I don’t let them slip under the radar unnoticed and untouched. Where it goes from here- I can never say. I can only speak for myself and my actions but how about I stop controlling the things I don’t have control over anyway- and just let God be God.

A life of shipwrecks and snake bites is a life to be appreciated. Don’t pass through the now without realizing that failures are meant to be foundations. That your failures can actually produce someone else’s miracle. That ultimately, although we think we perceive the best, God has the knowledge of exactly what you need, when, where, how and with whom.


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