by Stephen Dennis

“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” – Romans 8:37

Recently my wife and I celebrated our one year anniversary in Key Largo, Florida. As we were getting closer to our trip, I was starting to feel excitement to have a weekend away with my wife, in the beautiful beaches of the Florida Keys. I was thinking of rest, snorkeling, over-indulging in delicious food, biking around the beach towns, and spending quality time with my wife. If I am being honest with you, God wasn’t really on my mind as we prepared for this trip. Selfishly, I was dreaming of all the things He has blessed me with, yet leaving Him out of the equation.

Finally, the time came for us to depart on our journey, and I was like a kid on Christmas. Dreaming of our perfect anniversary trip, it immediately met and exceeded my expectations as we checked into a beautiful beach resort. We spent the day on the beach, at the pool, just enjoying each other’s company and friendship as we reminisced about all that had happened over our first year of marriage.

During the first evening at the resort, we decided to lay inside the hammocks that were right beside the ocean. As I laid there, I began noticing hundreds of stars shining down on the ocean adding a beautiful glow to the water. I could hear the ocean waves slowly reach the shore as I rocked slowly in the hammock.

Suddenly, I was in awe. I wasn’t in awe about the beach, the stars, or the trip we were on, I was in awe of my Creator. Gazing upon the stars that night, set a fire in my spirit that reminded me that I am a child of the One who spoke all of this into motion. Not only am I a child of Him, I am His beloved. Immediately, my perspective shifted from one that was consumed with myself, to one that was consumed with God’s grace and mercy.

I didn’t deserve that trip, that beauty, a year with my wonderful wife, the life that I am living. Stephen doesn’t deserve any of that. Stephen prepares for trips and thinks only of himself. However, I serve a God that reminds me even when I am selfish, He loves me. The same God that breathed the waves into motion and spoke the stars into the sky, loves me. He doesn’t just love me in a way that leaves me in wonder, He loves me enough to die for me. The words that kept popping into my head were “the same God that created all of this, calls you more than a conqueror.”

As I left that trip, I was more than encouraged. There is a God – the Creator of the universe – that calls me, Stephen Dennis, more than a conqueror. Not just a conqueror, MORE THAN! That’s amazing. What a beautiful reminder that we have a God who loves us, and who calls us to a higher path where we are more than conquerors. I encourage you to take a moment and look at the beauty that surrounds you in nature. As you breathe in this beauty, remember that the same God that created that, created you and calls you His child, His beloved, and more than a conqueror.