Monday, November 10, 2014

Releasing The Bottle

I started this post about a month ago... things got busy though and I forgot to post it...however, I wanted to leave that beautiful picture of what New England starts to look like at the beginning of October...just a week or two before peak foliage :)

It is that beautiful time here again in New England!!  The fall foliage is starting to burst out in crimson reds and golden hues of yellow and orange! "sigh"  I totally understand why we have "leaf peepers" (tourists that come for drives just to see the fall foliage) in our state!!

On another note though...

I joined my friend a few days ago on a trip to Boston to complete an event on her "24 List".  She turned 24 a week ago and has made a list of 24 things she wants to do while she is 24.  This dear friend has fought cancer over the last two years and finally won.  Over the past few months I have seen her return back to the girl I remembered and knew was still in their somewhere :)  She wants to live life to the fullest and cherish every moment!  Therefore, the list of 24 things she wants to experience this year is a list of sentimental, fun and adventurous things to do or opportunities to learn and stretch her creativity!  This trip to Boston included writing a message, putting it into a glass bottle and sending it out into the unknown.  Hoping, praying, wishing that someday, someone will find it and it will impact their lives....

When she first asked me if I wanted to do this with her, I smiled and said "absolutely"!   I've watched enough movies and read enough books to see the romantic and sentimental reasons for doing it!  How many people have written their dreams on a piece of paper, placed it in a bottle sealed with a cork and released it into the ocean??  I wonder...

However, as I prepared to write my note, I had to ask myself, what would Jesus want me to write?  I have one opportunity to impact a life I may never meet... I have one chance to talk to this stranger...what is the most important thing I can say to them?  What would you say?

I prayed about it and asked the Lord to direct my thoughts and use my pen to write the words He wanted me to write and sure enough the words came and I filled up a page quickly!

Here is an excerpt of what I wrote:

"Dear Whoever You May Be,
                    As I sit down and write this note a hundred ideas come to mind of what to write in this message...but what do you write to someone I may never meet but whose life I want to encourage?  I guess I should start by introducing myself... (which I did and then explained why I was doing it).
...I know I want to encourage you and let you know that your life is unique, special and God has written your story in such a way that only you can live.  He has given each of us a purpose on earth, even if it at times is hard to see.  You will be able to help others in ways that other people won't be able to because of the special way God made you and the circumstances you live in!

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."  Ephesians 2:10

I pray you know Him as your personal Savior!  But if you don't and you question his existence, I would encourage you to continue asking questions and searching for answers...."

I then continued to encourage them to seek the truth, ask the questions, dig deeper and find the answers they seek.  As I explained the gift of Salvation and what Jesus Christ did for us, my heart reached out to whoever would read it!  As we got ready to throw our bottle out over the harbor, my friend and I laid our hand on the bottles and prayed for the individuals who would find them.   I prayed that the letters would be a turning point in lives of it's readers and that God would prepare their hearts!

It was bittersweet releasing those bottles. (We are sentimental 24 year old girls)  As we walked away from the harbor, it hit the two of us how final that act was.  We threw those bottles into the water and gave them to God.   We had no control over who would find them or when... It was all in God's hands...  We couldn't help but reflect on the parallel of what Christ calls us to do with all our anxiety, worry, fear, decisions, future, past and present...Everything is to be given over into His hands. He knows what is best for us and we know in our hearts that He is in control, but how often do we take those things back into our own hands and try to control them ourselves.  How much peace and joy do we lose because of our lack of trust in our Heavenly Father.  When we release our future (no matter what it holds or at what stage of life we are in) into the hands of an Almighty, All Powerful God, do we really need to fear that He doesn't know what to do with it?  Absolutely NOT!

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11

"He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted." Job 5:9

"O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For You have worked wonders, Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness."  Isaiah 25:1

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.…"  Isaiah 55:8-9

What would you have written in the message?  What do you need to release into His hands?

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