GOD OF THE WHALE
There is a wonderful hymn I love called God of the Sparrow God of the Whale.
This is the first verse lyrics
“God of the sparrow
God of the whale
God of the swirling stars
How does the creature say Awe
How does the creature say Praise”
The other day I saw a video (see below) of a snorkeler who went into the water from his boat in the middle of the bay because there was a humpback whale that kept coming along side. It seemed in distress and would not leave. This whale was twice the length of the boat and weighed several tons. When the snorkeler got under the water he realized the whale was entangled in a fishing net. The man went to the surface and got a knife and he and the others began cutting away the net. After a long while they were able free the great whale. What was striking to me was that the whale could at any time taken a dive but it did not. Had it, these men could have been put in great danger. This whale was focused on being free, rather than the fear. These men were more focused on the rescue rather than the danger. Amazingly, they were able to free the whale from the net. Freed from certain death, the whale went away leaping and jumping out of the water in what seemed to be a show of gratitude and thanksgiving.
Many of us may have found ourselves strangling from entanglements of our own making or from outside sources. But unlike the whale we just live with it hoping it will go away. We are unable to live up to our greatest potential and are unable to live life to the fullest. Maybe the whale had been entangled for months. Maybe the whale at first tried to just live with it but when it realized his very nature to jump out of the water was now compromised he had to find a way to get free. Like the whale we may need help that can only come from beyond our world, beyond our ability to remove the very thing that is harming us. Like the whale, we have to put ourselves in a place where we can receive help. These men did what no other whale could do. They had the means to remove the entanglement. And when the whale was free it responded in the only way it could.
God knows how to untangle us but we have to get to the place where our need to be free is greater than our fears, greater than compromise. Our desire to be all we are created to be is greater than thinking I deserve to live with this entanglement because after all it is my fault I am entangled. God loves you so much and is so willing to help you get free but like the whale you will have to trust. I can testify that I know what it is like to get untangled and set free to leap and joy and live without entanglements that held me back. God love you and has an abundance of compassion the same compassion those men on the boat had for the whale. But we must be like the whale and go to the place where God can help.
2 Peter 3:9The Message (MSG)Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.
God is waiting to help you. If you resonate with this story, email me. I would like to walk with you and show you the way to freedom. firstname.lastname@example.org
Whale rescue video click here
As I was looking over my Facebook posts for some reason there were a lot of people asking for prayer today either for themselves or a loved one. Three years ago I had a day like this and decided to be intentional about praying for people. I created a prayer wall where I would take post-it notes, write down the persons request and put it on my newly formed sacred space. Over time, it became thickly layered with multi colored notes. Most nights before I went to bed I would lift up the names and situations to God. At one point I realized I was thanking God more than praying because prayers had indeed been answered in the affirmative. This wall turned into a prayer and praise wall.
When I moved to Haverhill, I did not put those post-it notes in the trash. I put them in a special box because they bear witness to God’s presence. They also remind me of the power of prayer. One night I realized that asking for and offering prayer evokes the best part of who we are and how interconnected we truly are with one another.
Last year I made a private family page so that my family around the country could pray for my Dad who was diagnosed with cancer of the throat and a few months earlier a pastor friend of mine was given a devastating diagnosis on Good Friday that she had Stage 4 Cancer and preached her last sermon on Easter Sunday. She unabashedly shared her journey and asked for prayer and was offered prayer often today, both are still here. My Dad got a great last report and my friend has been an inspiration as she continues to battle and live each day to the fullest with Cancer. She has even managed to write a book! Another friend is using Facebook as a journal as she goes through chemo. A mother with a child who has a severe chronic illness uses her Facebook page as a support. She celebrates milestones and her sorrows as only a mother can who loves their children. A few weeks ago a friend from High School asked for prayer for a very serious surgery she was going to have to undergo. She shared her fears leading up to the day and she shared the angst of the physical suffering afterwards and the hope as she began to experience healing.
In all these stories there is an asking for prayer and an offering to pray. Today someone asked for prayer for a missing loved one. Over the past year Facebook friends have lost parents and spouses. They posted regularly as they stood vigil asking for prayer. When it was over they posted the moment of loss and then pictures and memories and their Facebook friends compassionately responded. Just yesterday a dear friend said good bye to their husband of 31 years as he passed on at 12:23 PM. Their prayer requests came through private message. The announcement on their page created a huge response of love and compassion.
I find it amazing but I am not surprised that so many ask friends to pray in deep times of need. I believe when we ask people to pray for them or their loved ones, the asking is an act of faith. The response is also an act of faith, if one really stops and actually says a prayer and not just lip service.
Sometimes we hear our neighbor ask for prayer and it causes us to life our eyes towards God maybe for the first time. Unfortunately, many doubt God even hears them because they do things that they shouldn’t do and don’t do things that they should do. They may think maybe God would hear someone else instead of them, so they ask.
Now I know that it seems God does not answer all prayers. God is eternal and we are temporal. God’s answers or apparent silence may not make sense to us, so we come away angry. Why do we get angry? If we are really honest with ourselves this relationship is often on sided. I sincerely believe God desires for all of us to come into the deepest understanding of our belonging to God and to each other. So to all my Face Book Friends and theirs, keep praying it has power to reveal God’s presence in our world. It helps us realize our need for God and each other. Finally, it brings out the best in us. I have started a new wall. So if you have a prayer request let me know. It would be an honor to pray for you.