Sweetwater Presbyterian

Small in size, Big in Faith and Love

Devotion February 13, 2019

Every year my daughter and I go on a trip together to a church education conference.  It is a pretty nifty thing since every year we get to go to a different part of the country - a new place, a new city.  We’ve been to San Francisco and Denver and Orlando and Albuquerque and a bunch of other places.  We usually compound the adventure by renting a car and so we can get out and see the sights in these new places since we are pretty sure that we will never be back to most of them.  In fact except for Louisville and Baltimore they have all been in places we had never even thought of going before.
One year the conference was in Grand Rapids which was one of those, ‘what is in Grand Rapids’ kind of questions cause we had all heard of Grand Rapids but didn’t really know anything that was there but that turned out to be one of the more enjoyable conferences!  Considering the location of Grand Rapids and the fact we were going the last of January we had envisioned cold temperatures and snow - and it turned out to be rather warm and quite conducive to walking around outside, we even got to ride this beautiful indoor carousel - you can never tell what is going to happen or what the weather is going to hold!
Twice in recent memory our conferences have be beset by snow - the year we were in Nashville and on the last day of the conference there was a blizzard and many of us were snowed in an extra day and because it was a blizzard you really couldn't go out an do much - and then there was the year in Albuquerque where it was the coldest temps and the most snow they had had in umpteen years to the point where it was the first time the schools had been closed for snow and we received notes under the door of our hotel that said they didn’t have enough natural gas for this weather and they were going to have to lower the temperature in the hotel.  Brrrrrrrrrrrr.  
This year our conference was in Galveston. Never been to Texas before so that was pretty exciting. Every time I told someone where I was going the Glen Campbell song ‘Galveston’ came into my head and in fact it still does.  The draw for Galveston was that it is on the beach!  Waves and sand - but it is the first of February so we figured there wasn’t going to be a lot of sun bathing or wave riding!  And there wasn’t because the fog was so dense you actually did not know if there was a sandy beach or waves crashing into the shore because we literally could not see past the railing on our balcony of our hotel and the temperatures plummeted.  Most of us were ill prepared for the frigid 30 some degree weather and the 5 minute walk to the conference center was quite the journey as you kept your head down against the wind and your arms wrapped around your inadequately dressed self!
This traveling to these conferences at the end of January have become quite the conversation concerning - what is the weather going to be like this year?  Especially since our experience has been that whatever the typical weather is in these locations - we are going to experience something out of the ordinary.  We go to Little Rock next year and I wonder if we should warn them we are coming and there is going to be some type of bizarre shift in the weather when we are there....... 
But even with the bizarre weather and the difficult circumstances the conference still continues to go on and we continue to enjoy our time of seeing people we only see once a year and of learning and of worship and of being able to learn about new places and of exploring a little…..
And so it is with God.  Regardless of the circumstances around us we can always count on God coming through and helping us when our lives take unexpected twists or turns, or things don’t turn out the way we think, or we have to venture out towards an unknown exploration.  Such a gift to know we have a God who is always, always, always there with us.