The little things

Some of my best times with God are spent at Pensacola Beach, Florida.

Some of my best times with God are spent at Pensacola Beach, Florida.

I wanted to see dolphins. It was a perfect beach day, the water blue with white waves dotting the seascape. “One thing’s for sure,” I thought: “If I were a dolphin, I’d do flips just past that sandbar.” But so far, no sea creatures wowed me. Not even a jellyfish.

Sitting there with toes in the sand, gratitude flowed. I thanked God for beautiful Pensacola Beach. I gushed about the endless shades of color. And then on a whim, I threw in the dolphin thing.

“Lord,” I began, “You know what would be cool? A dolphin show. I’d love to see some full-body jumps. Or a few of them playing. Or even a fin, Lord. How about just one fin?”

You’re probably guessing that something awesome happened next. After all, God hears our desires and displays His glory. So it makes perfect sense that a Dolphin Miracle, so to speak, was about to happen at noon on Thursday.

If you’re thinking along these lines, you’re partially right: At noon on Thursday, God’s glory was displayed. But it wasn’t through a dolphin.

As I finished my prayer and stared into the Gulf, movement appeared near shore. Not way out there where the big boys play but close to me. Suddenly, in slow motion it seemed, a little fish did the trick of its life.  In my forty-nine years of beach trips, I’ve never seen a jump with such flair! This may be a slight exaggeration, but I think he nailed a triple-twist backwards gill tuck. For sure, it was a perfect ten. And I believe it was just for me.

After laughing out loud and considering a standing ovation, I got it: “Oh, Lord, your glory is not only in the BIG. Yes, you answer weighty prayers, and yes, you lavish us greatly. But your majesty is every bit as impressive in the places we overlook—in the seemingly ordinary, the seemingly unimportant. But it’s all spectacular, Father! We don’t have to wait for big glory to appear. We just have to open our eyes.”

So thank you, little fish. I wasn’t expecting such a gift from such an unassuming source. But I know who created you, and I know His specialty: Making something pretty great out of something pretty small.

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 “Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. . . . . The Lord thunders over the mighty sea.The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic.  Psalm 29:2-4

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