From the northeast corner of Alabama, the Appalachian Trail runs down and is filled with bubbling streams and waterfalls, rivers and lakes; from the northwest corner- the mighty Tennessee River runs through – dotted throughout the state- are hydroelectric dams to provide electricity and form lakes of wonderous beauty. The most incredible thing about all of this water- is that Alabama doesn’t just have fresh waterways- go south as far as you can go-lo and behold! There is an ocean, yes, the Gulf of Mexico, Mobile Bay, inlets of salt water teeming with all of that good seafood we love to eat! The beaches are called ‘sugah sand’ because of the white soft sand. Needless to say, water sports, fishing and boating are an important part of the culture of Alabama!
On this weekend, at the beginning of summer- ‘the waters’ here in Alabama, put me in mind of a few lovely quotes, a prayer, and some incredible photographs from our resident photographer, Jeremy Miniard.
The quote which inspired me to write this post:
‘I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. We must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it. But we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.’
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.-from Quotable Quotes (italics mine)
‘We must sail, sometimes with the wind, and sometimes against it…’
In the Gospel of John, the disciples decided to set off in their boat without Jesus, and a great wind blew up while they were alone in the boat-they were terribly frightened. Now these were mostly fishermen, not prone to fear on the water, but they did know that storms blew up frequently on the sea- this was a bad storm…why had they left without Jesus? It was a bad decision- it does matter Who you have in the boat when you sail.
‘How often we look upon God as our last and feeblest resource! We go to Him because we have nowhere else to go. And then we learn that the storms of life have driven us, not upon the rocks but into the desired haven.’ George MacDonald
Now, if the disciples thought they were afraid of the storm – when they saw Jesus walking on the water toward their boat in hurricane force winds, they were even more terrified of their deliverance!
‘He will do whatever it takes to rescue you from the storms of life. He is far more interested in rescuing; He is much less interested in why you got in the boat without Him than He is finding a way to get to you…Even when you get it wrong; He can make it right…Watch for Him in windy weather – in the storms. Respect the One Who can calm the storm. He will tell you when to stop being afraid. You will be glad He is there. Be willing to take Him aboard during the storm. He’ll be in the boat with you.’
On this Sunday morning, the quote above and the prayer to follow are from Four Days-the Lazarus Principle, the words seem appropriate for these beautiful photographs of the Alabama Waters and the quotes which have inspired me.
‘Oh Lord, many times we have steered our own craft, and in our impatient rowing – have left You ashore. Come to us even in the stormy midst of our poor decisions and sorry situations. We welcome You aboard our rickety boats, calm the storms that rage within and without. Come aboard, get us back on course.’
It does matter Who is in the boat with us; with Him- ‘The storms of life have driven us, not upon the rocks, but into the desired haven.’
‘Calm the storms that rage within and without…come aboard, get us back on course.’
‘It is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving…sometimes with the wind, sometimes against it. But sail we must, not drift, nor lie at anchor.’
Can I get an Amen? Have a wonderful blessed Sunday! Love y’all, Camellia
*This post was edited and re-blogged to include the photograph above, which was taken at Orange Beach, Alabama on the Gulf of Mexico- where visitors are often delighted by the sight of the Blue Angels as they practice. This photograph stands as a memorial to the Blue Angel pilot who lost his life, this past week at a Tennessee Air Show. He shall be sorely missed but not forgotten. The Blue Angels are stationed at the U.S. Naval Base in Pensacola, Florida, very close to the Gulf of Mexico.
*All other photographs are the sole property of http://www.jeremyminiard.fineartamerica.com
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Four Days -the Lazarus Principle by Brenda Wyatt- Amazon Affiliate link