Hawaiian Surprise

Friday, February 2, 2018
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Listen while you read: "A Beautiful Life"1 (Lyrics)

Deuteronomy 31:6,8 – Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. (NIV)

Hebrews 13:5b-6 – God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (NIV)

On the sun-drenched morning of January 13th, my wife Janice and I took a leisurely walk along the Waikoloa golf course bordering our condo unit on the Big Island. With the promise of yet another beautiful Hawaiian day, it was strange that no one else was on the golf course. Halfway through our walk, an elderly couple on a golf cart darted quickly in our direction waving their arms as they closed in on us. "Great," I thought, "they'll now tell us that we can't walk on their precious golf course." But I had them all wrong.

"I don't mean to scare you," the man said politely, "but there's an intercontinental ballistic missile headed this way."

Interesting … "I don't mean to scare you"… but the world is coming to a close.

Many in Hawaii, I later learned, became terrified with this news, which appeared simultaneously on every cell phone in Hawaii. There were widespread reports of hysteria, crying, and panicking. One couple was videoed taking a manhole cover off a city street and depositing two children down the hole. I heard that another vacationer had gone into his bathroom at his condo with a case of beer and a mattress and proceeded to hide in his bathtub.

Janice and I took quite a different tack. We decided that if there really were to be a nuclear explosion, there would be little time to react in any meaningful way. What were we to do? Hide under a palm tree? We also both felt that the worst that could happen would be that we would soon be on our way to meeting our Maker — which would be a good thing — and we both experienced a deep peace about that. Besides, I thought, on the plus side, I would no longer have to be concerned about the MasterCard bill that was piling up from our trip! As my grandmother put it, "There's a silver lining to everything!"

Jesus, we knew, is the resurrection and the life, and therefore, death has no hold over us. It was an interesting moment of both peace and faith. I didn't even feel a particular need to pray, for our continued walk was a prayer in itself, and I felt a great closeness to God just holding my wife's hand. It was also interesting to contemplate that while many were panicking, thousands near us would be acting in a similar way as we were: continuing in their walk of faith, trusting in the God who declared, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

John 14:2-3 – In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (NIV)

How would you react if you felt that there was a good possibility that your life was suddenly about to end?

Prayer: Loving God, even in the valley of the shadow of death, You are with us. You have promised never to forsake us, never to leave us, in life nor in death. Thank You that Jesus brings us the confidence and peace which comes from death being defeated. Thank You that Jesus has promised a place with You when our earthly time is complete. Amen.

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About the author:

Rick Potter <rpotte@hotmail.com>
Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good word, Rick.

    Thanks for sharing this devotional with us, Rick. Blessings.

    Dear Rick P: Thank you for a gentle reminder of just how precious our faith is.

    Thanks Rick. Can’t put in words how this devotion makes me feel but it just leaves me with such a peaceful feeling.

    Yes, in Him there is no fear! I would have reacted as you did, no fear, just an enormous excitement that I was going to see Him face to face!

    Dear Rick Potter,
    Thank for your life-experience devotional of reassurance.
    Keep writing.

    You got a ‘trial’ run and in my eyes, you Passed, trusting in God and NOT worrying, because you try your best to live a Godly life.

    Rick – thank you for this devotional. I have not seen anything that you have written before, but I hope your writing will continue. What a refreshing thought that in response to … the world is ending now .. we have peace and confidence that God will be with us to the end. Thank you for sharing your experience and making me question how I would react in similar circumstances.

    Greetings Rick,
    Thank you for the submission of this morning’s devotional. I admired your expression of the faith and feelings of peace that you and your wife experienced when given the news about the impending missile attack. It truly is a calming feeling when we have trust in the Lord and in His plans for us. Faith is powerful.

    How blessed you both are to have faced an end-of-life ‘trial run’ so to speak and affirm just how strong your faith roots are! What a test… and you passed with flying colours! Praise God for this wonderful testimony you’ve both been given. Thank you for sharing this experience and ‘lesson’ with us as you boldly proclaim the power of Christ.

    Dear Rick,
    Beautiful devotional about the walk on the beach and doomsday.
    I just lost my sister and my mother. Your words comforted me and would have been comforting for my mother to hear had I told her them when she asked me close to the end, who will take care of you?
    Of course, it was a different situation, but none the less, Jesus is always with me even if at times this feeling is far away.
    Thank you for your inspiration as I now begin another chapter in my life and learn who I am other than a caregiver to my family.
    God be with you,

    Rick, thanks for sharing. What a wonderful testimony of faith! God’s peace be with you and your family always.

    Wow. That was quite the experience! Thank you for sharing your story with us and thanks be to God, who promises to be with us in our times of need.

    This devotional was absolutely beautiful. The description of you holding hands with your wife, prepared, in faith, to meet your Lord… it was very moving.
    Thank you.

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