I so appreciate having the Lord as my strength and captain in this life. Without Him to part the waters and direct the ship, I’d be lost at sea. Or capsized and drowned. I’m a very bad sailor. Wearing a life jacket is a fine thing, but it doesn’t protect the boat from crashing into the rocks. Jesus is far more than a life jacket. He’s our pilot.
I know how to row a boat, that’s not it. I knew my way around the Michigan lake where my family spent its summers. Sometimes Dad took us to the marina in Mipadeka or the motor boat to buy groceries. (Mipadeka was our rowboat, named by using the first two letters of our names in order: Mike, Pat, Debby and Karen.) But navigating life is quite another thing. Life’s an ocean, wide and dangerous, stormy and deep; some mornings I resist rising from bed, as if that avoids challenges. Life is wary and can bring sudden trials from around a corner.
Some are easy enough to handle, a simple notice about an overdue lost library book. A friend asking for prayer. A doctor postponing an appointment. A warning light in your vehicle.
Others are not. Like waking up with a weird, unidentifiable stab of pain in your back, first on the right, then the left. What? Or finding I’ve disappointed or made someone angry, someone important enough to trouble me. A car accident causing injury, yet you survived. Even worse is a diagnosis of a serious disease or condition that was heretofore well hidden in your body.
God is there for us. He’s not an absent friend. He knows. If we’re on his team, he’s not only stepped into our boat, he’s commanding the choppy waters. And well. He’s a fine sailor. Though I sometimes put myself at the helm of the boat forgetting he’s there, Praise God, I usually come to my senses quickly and relinquish the boat to him. How swiftly he does rush to me, when I pray. How wonderfully he sends wisdom to solve the puzzle, strength to shoulder the burden, or miraculously lift the load. And in the worst case scenario, even if we feel alone, we are not alone.
“Now it happened, on a certain day that He got into a boat with His disciples. And He said to them, ‘Let us cross over to the other side of the lake.’ And they launched out.” ~Luke 8: 22
Dearest Lord, would you remind us you’re in the boat? You launched it, and you’re navigating. Please minister to people we observe with pronounced needs. Please forgive our sin, for ways we misstepped, or had no vision to see. Give us grace to make amends. Please lift the sorrow and pain of life, if that’s possible. Help us find things we’ve misplaced, or learn to live without the persons or things no longer ours to hold. Grant us wisdom and counsel to respond to others as you would. Bind evil. Please bring healing to our body and mind or loved one’s, enabling us to walk in fellowship with You, to know your peace and be comforted by Your love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.