When our children were young we took a family trip to Florida and the beautiful beaches caressing the shores of the scenic panhandle. The occasion was the popular week long spring break and nearly the entire town headed out for distant and relaxing vacations.
We had reservations at a newly built condominium with our seventh floor unit overlooking the greenish blue and sparkling Gulf of Mexico. It was the perfect location for our getaway. But there was one problem. It was early in the season and the weather forecast was for bitterly cold and windy conditions.
We arrived the Saturday before Easter. I had planned to celebrate this holy of days by conducting a family service on a remote and mostly hidden spot on the beach. That morning we took a vote and it was decided to stay with the plan rather than remain inside within its warm and comfortable surroundings. So out we went, bundled and layered, to rejoice in the resurrection of our Risen Lord.
Peter gives great comfort as he writes these words,
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!
In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”
1 Peter 1:3
We soon came across a lifeboat, abandoned and resting on its side, giving us the needed shelter from the strong winds and icy conditions, a thankful blessing for the moment. We shared Scripture, sang a few familiar hymns and I read from a short text written before leaving home. However, the highlight of our family worship was giving each other communion using store bought crackers and bottled water.
We all learned a valuable lesson that day on a wintry, sandy beach. We don’t always need a formal setting to praise God and to give thanks to our Lord, Jesus Christ. It can be done anywhere or at anytime. It makes no difference where we are as long as we humble ourselves in His presence, communicate with Him through thoughtful and sincere prayer and accept, by faith, the assurances He promises.
The next morning we awoke to sunny skies, a calm breeze, and warm temperatures, the perfect weather for our family retreat.