Janice Boekhoff
 

Devotion

In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.

Exodus 15:13

Do you ever have moments of doubt?

Do you ever worry about how life will turn out?

Do you wonder if you’ll ever fulfill the dreams in your heart?

I have those moments, more often than anyone knows.

In times when I’m being honest, I realize these doubts are a faith issue. Despite God’s grace and mercy, sometimes I don’t believe He has my best interests in mind. I’d rather worry and fret because that keeps my illusion in place.

The illusion that I control my life.

And trust me, it’s an illusion. If we open our eyes wide, we’ll see who’s in control.

Him.

Not us.

Every once in a while, I have those moments where my sense of control is shattered—someone I know is diagnosed with cancer, my father-in-law has a heart attack, my newborn daughter is whisked off to intensive care.

It’s usually only when my illusion is smashed that I fully rely on the One who’s best suited to have control.

Dear Lord, help me to remember every day that You lovingly orchestrate my life, even during hard times. Give me the strength to surrender to the reality of Your control. In Jesus’s name, amen.

Unicorn of the Sea

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3D computer rendering of a Narwhal

How many of your out there have seen the Sprint commercial with the cartoon characters singing about Narwhals? If you haven’t (and actually want to), click here, but be warned—the song may not leave your head the entire day. It goes something like this:

Narwhals, Narwhals swimming in the ocean

Narwhals, Narwhals causing a commotion, because they are so awesome

Narwhals, Narwhals pretty big and pretty white, can beat a polar bear in a fight

Weird, huh? I watched it the other day with my 11-year-old son and he went nuts for the song. He looked at me and said, “You know a Narwhal is a real thing, right?”

Uh, actually, no I didn’t know that and it stinks when your kid is smarter than you, but don’t tell him I said that. So, of course, I had to go look it up. And I’m glad I did because these guys are seriously one of God’s most amazing creatures. The above picture is just a computer rendering, but the real thing is awe inspiring. Please, please, please click here to see the pictures taken by Paul Nicklen from National Geographic. They are stunning.

A Narwhal is actually a type of whale with a bony protrusion coming out of its head. Because of the protrusion, which can get up to 10 feet long, it’s sometimes called the Unicorn of the Sea. This tusk is actually an enlarged tooth with millions of nerve endings. Most males develop tusks after the first year of life when it starts to grow outward, twisting in a counter clockwise direction and leaving a hollow interior. This is a sensory organ, not an instrument for breaking through the ice, as I first thought.

They live in the Arctic waters of Canada, Greenland, Norway and Russia where ice is prevalent. They eat halibut, cod, squid and shrimp and can spend up to five months below the ice, breathing through the cracks.

You might notice the Narwhals in the commercial are white, which is the color for old Narwhals. They are born blue-gray, juveniles are blue-black and adults are a mottled gray. The name Narwhal means “corpse whale” in Old Norse, perhaps a reflection of its skin color.

These majestic animals weigh up to 4,200 pounds and can grow as long as 17 feet in length. And they can also dive in the ocean a mile-and-a-half deep.

I never cease to be amazed by the creatures that God has created. How many more live in the oceans that we’ve never seen? They say it’s the final frontier.

 

Reference: http://www.worldwildlife.org/stories/unicorn-of-the-sea-narwhal-facts

Devotion

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

“You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered. “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

John 18:36-37

Those of us who know Christ know we are forgiven, but the amazing part about grace is that God doesn’t stop there. He doesn’t say: “Okay, now I’ve gotten rid of your sins, so go on your merry way.”

Nope. In fact, He forgives our sins just so we can take the next step with him. That next step is reconciliation. We are reconnected to God through Jesus. Jesus has restored our relationship with our heavenly Father.

I’ve seen many people who are excited to receive God’s forgiveness, who feel blessed to go to heaven when they die, but have no real desire for a relationship with God.

Why? Because having a relationship with God means making Him the king of your life. That’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s the position He deserves.

I’m reminded of the time when someone I knew asked for my opinion about an outcrop of granite. The dark rose granite had spidery milky-white lines running through it. This person thought these lines were worm holes. I told him they were actually veins of quartz and that a worm would have to be delusional to try burrowing through granite. Amazingly, this person refused to believe me, even though I had a geology degree and he didn’t. I was more qualified to answer the question, but he wanted to be right.

We do that sometimes with God, don’t we? Who is more qualified to run our lives—us or the all-knowing, completely-loving creator God?

He is more qualified, of course. And yet, we think we know better. We decide on a way that we want our lives to turn out, and we want to be right.

Dear Lord, I’m so grateful for Your forgiveness and Your offer of eternal life in heaven. Help me to remember this life is not about being right, it’s about having a right relationship with You. I can only do that when I make You king of my life. In Jesus’s name, amen.

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