God’s Presence Near and Far

on May 31, 2019

On our recent cruise, my husband and I heard a tragic announcement on the Viking Sun. Viking’s sister ship, the Viking Sky had tilted forty-five-degrees in choppy waters off Norway’s western coast that led to engine trouble. The rocky seas resulted in a mayday call and rescue helicopters removed passengers off the ship.

As I prayed for the Viking Sky passengers, my favorite scripture came to mind. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1) Knowing God was there gave me a keen sense of protection over the Viking Sky as well as our cruise ship. Many of us will be going on vacation soon, but how many people will take God along too?

Bill and I started our vacation in Sydney, Australia. The Viking Sun stopped in six different ports in Australia. From there we sailed eight days across the Indian Ocean to Mauritius, Madagascar and Mozambique. Two more days on the Mozambique Channel and we ended our cruise in Durbin, South Africa. From Durbin, we flew to Johannesburg and took a van to Kruger National Park to participate in a safari. Through it all, I had no fear. God promises to be close to all who call on Him. His word to me is better than travel insurance.

Vacations can serve as a spark plug to communicate with the Creator. Use this time to be restored and charged physically and emotionally, but also spiritually. Don’t miss the chance to see the works of His hands, claim His promises, and to listen to His truths. Even though vacations can be a busier time than our daily routine, the Lord promises if we seek Him, with all our heart, we will find Him, no matter where we are. King David did. He sought and thirsted for the presence of God everywhere he went. The Lord blesses our faithfulness when we encounter Him. Take part in what He has created for us. God never goes on vacation.

Click the link below for footage taken by one of the passengers on the Viking Star on U-Tube.

Please add your experiences to the questions below. I enjoy hearing from you.

How could a vacation help you know and enjoy God more?

What do you do to keep God on your mind during your travels?

18 thoughts on “God’s Presence Near and Far”

  1. Nancy says:

    Sad for them!

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      Thank God, no lives were lost.

  2. Diane Clark says:

    I appreciate enjoying His sunrises and sunsets along the Gulf in Gulf Shores, Alabama, when we winter there. I love Lamentations 3:23 that says “Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      One of my favorite scriptures, Diane. Thank you for your comment.

  3. King David was not on vacation, he was hiding in a cave while his own son sought to kill him. Psalm 3-4 explain the details. Half the country wanted him dead, the other half ignored his plight.
    Despite all he had on his mind, he ran TO the Lord, and slept peacefully.
    Let’s not use this summer’s vacations to run from God but to Him.
    Thanks Linda!

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      As always, Jeff, great insight. On our thirty-day cruise, I saw one person bow their head to give thanks for their meal. I never noticed before but this cruise opened my eyes. Have a blessed summer.

  4. Dave says:

    Yes, the Lord is good.

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      Yes, He is, Dave. Good to hear from you.

  5. I enjoyed reading this.e

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      Thank you, precious friend.

  6. Deborah says:

    I find that when I’m vacationing away from my daily routine, my talks with God and my devotion times are more frequent and often. I am so thankful for the new experiences I am allowed, the graciousness of new people I meet all over the world, the beauty of this world, etc, that I’m constantly thanking and praising Him. Days with fewer responsibilities allow me to linger over coffee or read endlessly in the evening. Vacationing is so good for my soul ❤️

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      You have such a humble spirit, Deborah. You’re right, vacations are good for the soul. I like to think of vacations as a time of renewal.
      Enjoy your travels!

  7. Jean Hall says:

    Thanks, Linda. A great reminder to take God along with us everywhere we go!


    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      Amen, Jean.

  8. Bette says:

    Thank you so much Linda 🙂 Yes, I agree and have learned through all our travels and experiences, we need to be open to God and His Mighty Goodness, wherever we go and whatever is happening!

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      That’s beautiful, Bette.
      God’s speed,

  9. Jenni Tyler says:

    Wonderful trip! Great article regarding faith. Thank you.

    1. Linda Ray Center says:

      You’re welcome, Jenni. Thank you for commenting.

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