Throwing Stones

Six hundred stones plopped and splashed as they hit the surface of the Sea of Galilee and then sunk, never to be retrieved again. Each rock signified something of importance. Some represented long-held unforgiveness and bitterness toward a family member or friend. Other stones symbolized a wayward son or daughter, or even a spouse. And yet others signified unfulfilled hopes and dreams. Though the meanings of each rock differed, the lasting results were the same. As passengers aboard the Israel tour boats released their stones from their hands, they also released emotional and spiritual burdens from their hearts.

As I threw my stone into the Sea of Galilee, I quietly prayed, “Ok, Lord. Here I am. If I can serve you better and glorify you more in my singleness, then so be it. I am content with you and you alone.” Healing replaced hurt. Contentment replaced anxious pursuit. Trust replaced fear.

Little did I know that at that same moment on the same boat on the Sea of Galilee, a Hispanic pastor was throwing his stone into the water with a similar prayer. Ten years of pastoral ministry as a single man had not been easy. But if that’s what the Lord wanted, then he finally accepted it, and he would live his life joyously and purposefully.

We threw our stones and all that they signified into the Sea of Galilee six years ago—March 11, 2010.

That night I looked around for an open seat amongst my fellow Israel bus companions. I was late to dinner. The only seat available happened to be next to that single pastor. I was thirty-four years old; he was forty-one. He spoke Spanish; I did not. But there, alongside the Sea of Galilee, a conversation began. Then a friendship grew, romantic interests blossomed, and twenty months later, we were married.

Only the Lord can take a Mexican industrial engineer and move his heart to attend Dallas Theological Seminary. Only the Lord can take an architect, a farm girl from the Midwest, and have her pursue an architectural career in Dallas, Texas.

We made plans. We made choices. Yet God’s sovereign hand guided them all.

I purchased my ticket for the Israel tour. My husband was appointed an Israel bus shepherd. I chose English as my preferred language for the tour. My husband was to help lead the Spanish bus. How we ended up on the same bus in Israel is still unknown.

We made plans. We made choices. Yet God’s sovereign hand guided them all.

Consider God’s sovereign hand in the following biblical stories:

  • Only the Lord can take a man with a speech impediment and make him a leader of a nation (Exod. 4:10).
  • Only the Lord can take a young boy, overlooked by his family, and turn him into a king (1 Sam. 16:12­–13).
  • Only the Lord can take an unknown woman from Magdala, turn her into a disciple, and make her the first messenger of Christ’s resurrection (John 20:18).
  • Only the Lord can turn the heart of a hateful persecutor of Christians, and make him an apostle for Christ to the Gentiles (Acts 9:1–31; Rom. 1:1–6).

They made plans. They made choices. Yet God’s sovereign hand guided them all. What are your plans? What choices are you making? Consider the following verses:   

  • A person plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps. (Prov. 16:9)
  • During a dark time in Israel’s history God said, “For I know what I have planned for you… I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope.” (Jer. 29:11)
  • Of every believer in Christ, the apostle Paul writes, “We are his workmanship, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we may do them.” (Eph. 2:10)
  • The Psalmist reminds us, “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps. 37:4 NIV)

What are you continuously grasping and holding onto in your life? Throw your stone. What do you desire above God? Throw your stone. What are you waiting to receive before you turn your life over to the Lord? Throw your stone.

Life may not have turned out as you had planned, but throw your stone anyway. Let God’s sovereign hand guide you.

Question: What stones are you holding onto and are you ready to surrender them to the Lord?

Karla D. Zazueta is an architect-turned-discipleship-leader serving alongside her pastor-husband in Hispanic ministry both locally and abroad. She's also a mother to one furry feline and one adorable little boy. Karla has a M.A. in Christian Leadership from Dallas Theological Seminary and a B.S. in Architectural Studies. She is the author of Discipleship for Hispanic Introverts. She was also a contributing author to the book, Vindicating the Vixens, with the essay "Mary Magdalene: Repainting Her Portrait of Misconceptions."

One Comment

  • Gwynne Johnson

    He is good!

    I'm reminded from your story of the new worship song, "He's a good, good Father." And I celebrate that "unlikely" meeting. 🙂