Updated: Sep 15, 2021
Sunday, July 11, 2021
I’m so glad you’ve returned for Part 2! I originally had all of this in one very long blog post, but I felt the Lord tug me that indeed, this post needed to be in two parts. So, let’s get right to it…
In Part 1, we not only found a great seafood market, got hungry for scamp and maybe even tried our hand at a new fish recipe, we also met my new pelican friend. You even watched a fun video of me feeding her compliments of the guys at “Willingham Seafood Market”. As I concluded that post, I clued you in to the fact that there is something very special about this pelican, but I stopped short of telling you what it is. Neither did I tell you her name. Any guesses?
I named my friend, Grace. Let me tell you why.
My sweet Grace has only one foot. I’m gonna be honest here, when I realized this, I about cried. I really did. I get very affected by animals. I’m sure many of you do as well. But, this girl in particular got me good. I don’t know what happened to her, and to be honest, I don’t really want to know. But, in that moment of realization, I suddenly amassed a whole new level of love for this girl. I’m not gonna lie, either. I TOTALLY favored her now. She DEFINITELY got the last bite of food and DEFINITELY was the absolute star of the rest of the photos. And now, she basically has two blog posts devoted to her!
As Tom went back into the market to dispose of our trash, he inquired about her. Apparently, she is a favorite at the seafood market and often hangs outside with the guys in the back. They treat her extra special, too! She even enjoys an occasional pet or two. Wait… WHAT?!? Did they say she enjoys a pet or two?!? Be still my heart… petting a pelican?!? This has absolutely been added to my #BucketList.
Now, if you recall from Part 1… I told you that although I didn’t know why, Grace and I had a connection. Really. I knew immediately there was something special about this pelican, and now we know. Even though Grace is “just an animal” (and how many of you know the Good Lord can use animals?), it was a real and true connection. Why? Grace made me smile. She made me joyful. She even inspired me. Grace reminded me to be thankful, and she reminded me just how blessed I am. Did she do the same for you? I thought so.
We can all have a connection to Grace, and I’m not just talking about the pelican anymore. This grace is the kind that offers us kindness and favor. This grace offers us a fresh new beginning each and everyday! This grace is the kind that is life changing. This grace is the kind that does not require any work at all. In fact, it’s free! This grace comes directly and ONLY through the unconditional and never ending love of God.
Just as I felt tremendous love and compassion for that pelican… just as I gave her everything I could in those few minutes together on that pier, I was reminded that this is EXACTLY how God feels about us all the time! He is filled with great love and compassion for us every single moment! And because of that, He wants to bless us… for no reason at all!
Do you hurt physically? He can help you! Do you hurt mentally? He can help you! Do you hurt spiritually? He can help you! He is waiting to bestow blessing upon blessing on you! Just ask Him! He can, and He will! He does this expecting nothing but your love for Him in return! That, my friends, is God’s Grace, and it is that simple!
But wait… there’s more! Just like Grace, the one footed pelican, you, my friend, may need to be reminded that you, too, are special! You are unique. You are one of a kind, and most importantly, YOU ARE LOVED JUST THE WAY YOU ARE! How can we be assured of this? The Bible tells us so!
The Bible says that Jesus Christ will leave the 99 JUST FOR YOU! What does that mean? This… Jesus is our shepherd, our Good Shepherd. And, just as a good shepherd does, He carefully and constantly watches over his flock… that’s us! If one of His sheep goes astray, gets lost… the Good Shepherd will leave that flock, the 99, to go after the one that is lost! He is not angry; He is not upset. In fact, He is happy… overjoyed to get that sheep and bring him home! Isn’t that Good News? What a good and glorious God we serve!
Friends, my new friend, Grace, perhaps rejected at some point, perhaps lost at some point, and most definitely hurt at some point is the perfect example of God’s grace. She is cared for and loved just the way she is. She has been treated kindly and with favor every single day! And, nothing, absolutely nothing, but love is expected of her. She has been brought home. It may be an out-of-the-way, old time seafood market, but she is home. Isn’t that just amazing!
Let’s end this 2 part post with this… Let’s pray for the “lost sheep” you know whether it be friends or family. Let’s pray for the ones you don’t know, and let’s never stop! Why? Because He can bring them home. He is that powerful and that good. He gives them Grace. He gives us Grace. He gave me Grace. And, you best believe we will return to “Willingham Seafood Market” for some more Grace… soon!
By the way… If you are ever in the area of Valparaiso, Florida, you may want to grab yourself some delicious, fresh seafood from this wonderful and humble market, “Willingham Seafood Market”. I was reminded of the good old days here, and today, I think we might just need more of this.