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  • Elyce Richards

Wonders of God in Church


I cannot begin to explain the thrill of seeing the wonders of God in Church! It is so amazing, I hardly believe that anyone who would believe me. But after last Sunday's Combined Service, if you don't believe me, just ask all the Church sitting on the beach!

For me, it all started just over a month ago at the previous Combined Service when we had a guest speaker share after worship and prayer. We were sitting on the beach at Wirruwuy with our mat on the sand and listening to the speaker share about the Jesus and the Samaritan woman. From where I was sitting, I looked past the speaker to the ocean beyond and nearly screamed with surprise shock when I saw splashing in the water. I could not believe my eyes! I was tingly and awe-struck. Thirty or so metres from the shoreline I saw the largest tail fin I have ever seen (in real life) lift out of the water and smash down again with a spray. I blinked and waited, thinking I had imagined it. Then a few seconds later, it popped up again several metres from the spot and smashed down into the water again with a spray. I grabbed Tim and started pointing. People next to me started looking too. But no one else saw it. I saw it come up and down five times but the water was calm in between. Each time I pointed, no one else saw it in time. I did not know how to explain what I saw.

I was so confused. To me, it looked like the tail fin of a whale. But I never saw a dorsal fin, or any other part of it. It was a just a perfectly bowed flat shaped tail fin coming up and down creating a large splash. Each time, the tail seemed to splash water at (in the direction of) the shore.

I asked some locals about it later that week and found that there are whales in the waters up here. However, no one has reported seeing them from the local shores. And the water is there quite shallow. I was beginning to think that perhaps it was my imagination, or perhaps I saw a very vivid vision. But if it was a vision, I was not sure of the interpretation.

Last Sunday at the Combined Service, we were listening to Chris De'Ath speak about Jesus willingness to pursue the one even in the multitude. As he spoke, a smooth silver curve arched out of the calm water behind him and smoothly disappeared into the water again. The Church on the beach gasped in delight. We watched and waited holding out breath, and again the dolphin rose up out of the water and dipped down again a few metres along. Slowly and smoothly, the single dolphin came up and down not ten metres from the shoreline, as if following the edge.

I honestly don't know if it was the sound of our worship by the projection of the speakers that was interesting and attractive to the ocean dwellers. Some said that God was displaying His glory through the created world. Others said it was God communicating His love for us by revealing His beautiful creation at precisely that moment in time. This is absolutely true, but then I had a deep sense in my heart that there was something else too; something significant to be grasped in what was happening.

I know I will sound romantic in my assertions. But there is nothing quite like seeing the physical wonders of God in Church! I believe that what God was doing on the shore in His Church.. IN US.. was His greatest delight in those moments. It wasn't that God was getting excited about nature as the rest of us were. He was excited FOR US. His Presence in, around and with His Church was His greatest delight. He was merely drawing creation closer to Himself. Those elegant creatures were coming forth in joy and curiosity, because God presence was delighting in US!

It took me a long while to comprehend what God was saying to me. But I could feel His Presence and His loving enthusiasm for His Church. We are not yet perfect, but He loves us and delights in us with joy (Zeph 3:17). And it is wonderful to simply be in His Presence and receive His love.

Then I began to wonder, what would a dolphin do to give glory to God? Or what would a creature with a strong and elegant tail do to praise the Creator?

I think they would have done just that.


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