June 11 – Trip to the Holy Land – The Mediterranean Sea


Theme: Risk & Reward

Read 2 Corinthians 11:21-30

There is something mesmerizing about gentle waves that lap against the sands of a beautiful beach. That constant repetition is almost hypnotic. It can easily lull you to sleep.

As I write these words I’m looking out a hotel room window in Tel Aviv at the beautiful blue waters of the Mediterranean. It’s just gorgeous.  Most of us prefer the repetitive calm of gentle waves to the back-breaking turbulence of storms on the water.

Just a few miles up the coast, the Apostle Paul sailed from the port of Caesarea for two of his missionary journeys. But he didn’t always enjoy the calm waters desired by most tourists to this area. Storms on the Mediterranean can pack a serious blow!

Paul reminds us of the adventures he encountered: “Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not (2 Corinthians 11:25-26 – NLT).

Here’s the question that should enter our minds… Why? Why would Paul endure all of that?  Was it just the adventure?  No!

The risk was worth the reward!   He writes to Timothy:  “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8 – NLT).

It’s the same for you and me. Whatever we endure in this life for the cause of Christ will be worth it. He has a reward waiting for us that far outweighs any benefit in this life. “It will be worth it all, when we see Jesus!  Life’s trials will seem so small, when we see Christ.  Once glimpse of His dear face, all sorrow will erase.  So bravely run the race, till we see Christ.”

Prayer of reflection:  Today I ask you, Lord, for the grace to endure whatever hardships and difficulties I encounter knowing that someday I will be with you.

Bob Fetterhoff

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