See what great love the Father has lavished on us… 1 John 3:1
In the summer of 2014, two of my daughters and I went on a vacation that took us from Kentucky to New England, into Canada, and then past Niagara Falls on our way back home. It was a wonderful trip and we saw many amazing things along the way. The highlight of the trip for all of us, however, was on the day that we went whale watching off of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I have long had a fascination with humpback whales in particular, and I had never seen one before this trip. I prayed for weeks in advance that we would see humpbacks on our trip, something that was in no way guaranteed. I only had that one chance to see them on this trip, and I didn’t know when I’d have another chance to see them. I even asked my friends to pray that we would see humpbacks.
The day of our whale watching cruise came, and it was a spectacular day. I could not have asked for better weather. Clutching my camera, I felt my excitement growing as we boarded the boat and started off into the coastal waters. We hadn’t gone very far when our guide for the trip spotted a seal and then a finback whale off the starboard side of the boat. Dang it! I was seated on the port side and couldn’t see them. I doubled down on my prayers, just in case Jesus had forgotten that this was the day of my trip. Soon, a pair of minke whales appeared on the port side. I could see them and got a photograph or two, but I still longed to see the humpbacks.
After what seemed to my eager heart like an eternity, whales were spotted again. Humpbacks! At last, my dream was going to come true, and my prayers answered. However, they were again on the starboard side of the crowded boat with no way for me to get to the railing for the best view. I knew the captain would turn the boat so that those of us on the port side would be facing the whales, so I just had to be patient for a few minutes, and there they were. These magnificent creatures were feeding using a bubble net technique which was incredible to see. Although the captain was careful to keep us at the distance required by marine law, they were close enough that I could smell the fishiness of their breath!
We motored on to another spot where our guide hoped we might see more whales…and the reward was beyond anything I could have imagined. We saw DOZENS of humpbacks! We witnessed every one of their behaviors such as tail slapping, fluke slapping and best of all, breaching. Our guide chatted over the PA system, telling us which whales were which and facts about them such as their age or how many years they had been known to be in that area. She explained the behaviors that we were witnessing so that we didn’t miss any detail. It was incredible, and my heart was so full it felt as though it would burst with joy.
Finally came the time for us to turn and head back to the port. As we went along, the guide continued to talk about what we had seen that day. She said that on each trip they take, someone would ask them if it had been a “good” trip. She said that what we had seen that day was beyond anything that they had ever seen before. She was amazed at how many different whales we had seen and how many different behaviors we got to witness. She said that humpbacks are typically loners; they don’t travel in pods like some other whales do. This made what we had seen extremely rare, and she said, “I really don’t have any explanation for it!” I just smiled, because I knew exactly what explained it – the goodness of God in response to dozens of prayers to see humpbacks.
Isn’t His love lavish? Let’s face it – a prayer to see humpback whales would probably not rank very high in priority among the things that people pray for, yet He knew that this small thing would bring me great delight. Psalm 21:2 says, “You have granted him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips.” Matthew 7:11 says, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” It amazed me that He loves me so much that He would answer even this small prayer in such extraordinary style.
He loves you that much, too. What would bring great joy to your heart today? Ask Him! You can trust that He will answer you at the right time and that His answers will ultimately bring delight to your heart. I would be honored to pray with you if you would like; please leave a comment or message me, and I’ll join you in prayer.