My missionary sister Ellen recently posted a blog called Dolphin Tales, sharing a story about how she and I had asked Jesus for dolphins during our trip to Florida last month. In it she tells the story about how Jesus did give her dolphins shortly after, when she went to the aquarium, and how she had confidence that, in time, Jesus would show her wild dolphins as well.
I would like to share with you my story about how Jesus gave me dolphins.
I recently went to a youth conference in Alabama that was located at a resort on the beach. It was beautiful and the conference was awesome. But I think, for me, the most awesome moment of the whole weekend happened on Sunday morning.
My alarm went off at 6am. I rolled out of bed and took the fastest shower of my life! The night before I had looked up what time the sun would rise and according to google I had about 20 minutes to get out there. I was on the beach by 6:30 and I was not disappointed. The first thing I did was thank God for the weather. The forecast had predicted thunderstorms all weekend and, so far, it had only drizzled a little and on this particular morning the clouds were breaking up, making for a beautiful sunrise over the ocean.
I had been told that I probably wouldn’t see any dolphins because the weather had been so cold and I’d accepted that, but still hoped that Jesus would give me some dolphins. Regardless, I had never really seen a sunrise over the ocean so I felt the sacrifice of an hour’s sleep to be worthwhile even if I didn’t see any of the large marine mammals.
As I walked along the beach, just reveling in the beauty of nature and the glory of God, I thought I saw something out beyond the waves. I looked hard but ended up attributing it to a trick of the light. But then, wait… That was definitely a water spout! I stopped in my tracks and my breath was completely taken away by the beauty of this moment. Suddenly, I started seeing dolphins everywhere! There were so many of them! I was blown away. Jesus had given me dolphins. I was instantly overwhelmed by the awesomeness of God’s love, that he would fulfill for me as silly and as simple a desire as seeing dolphins.
I walked on the beach for an hour and for much of that hour I saw dolphins surfacing sporadically among the waves. Since I was alone on the beach I figured I would talk to Jesus out loud. I told him how amazed I was, how grateful I was, how much I loved him. I started telling him about how easy it is for me to doubt him sometimes… How easy it is for me to doubt things that I hear him tell me in my heart because I fear being wrong, or that I’m “putting words in His mouth.” Then, I told Him how much I truly appreciated this obvious display of His love for me because this is something that I could look back on in those moments of doubt and know without a second’s hesitation just how much He loves me.
As soon as those words finished coming out of my mouth a dolphin surfaced so close to the shore, closer than any of the other dolphins had, and I ran out of words to tell Him how moved I was.
I realized that Jesus had just surprised me by setting up the perfect “date.” He knows my heart, my love for the beauty of the ocean, my love for animals. He didn’t give me dolphins when I was in Florida because He wanted to wait for this perfect moment. He wanted me to be alone with Him, on this beach, surrounded by beauty so He could completely and totally overwhelm me with His love.
Our God is a God of love; a God who wants to fill our hearts to bursting if only we will open them enough to receive it. He knows how to fill mine, are you willing to lower your defenses long enough for Him to fill yours?