Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sailing



The third port in our recent Eastern Caribbean cruise was St. Maarten/St. Martin (there's a French side and a Dutch side to the island).  We took a tour around this beautiful island and stopped at these two beaches (above).  There's quite a difference in the water in these two pictures.  I so often think of my inner thoughts as being like a sea - sometimes calm, sometimes rough -- always needing my loving Father to guide my little boat into His safe harbor.  That's what I see in these two shots.

The first picture shows a sailboat plying across a rough sea.  I like the way the water has a silvery sheen, contrasting with the green bushes in the foreground and the muted sky and distant hilly land.  Some days, I feel like I'm on a rough sea as described in James 1:6:  "...he who doubts is like a wave of a sea, blown and tossed by the wind," and also in Jonah 1:4:  "Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up."  At such times, I cry out to God -- please, calm the sea in me, help me for I feel as if I'm drowning.  Do you ever feel that way?

When we feel caught in a raging - or even slightly rough sea, our first instinct should be to call out to the Captain of our soul and seek His help.  When the disciples feared they'd drown in a storm on the Sea of Galilee, they called out to Jesus and He "rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm" Luke 8:24.  Often, it's during those rough seas that we learn the most and grow in the Lord, "Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm..." Job 38:1.

The second photo was taken at Orient Beach and looks quite different than the first.  We see a sailboat peacefully anchored on a beautiful, calm turquoise water with a gentle white froth of surf in the foreground.  A small green-topped island and cloud-studded blue sky complete the scene.  At times, our lives resemble that peaceful sea.  I'm reminded of one of my favorite verses:  "The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage" Psalm 16:6.  And of course we can't forget lines from the famous Psalm 23:   "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters..."

When peace like a river flows around us, let's praise God and bask in that glorious beauty.  Likewise, when the rough seas toss us about, let's also praise God and thank Him for the opportunity of growth and to see Him work in wonderful ways.  Storm and Calm / Calm and Storm -- they are each close to one another.  We never know when the waters of our life will change.  We have One who knows the forecast and has a plan for our voyage.  I am so thankful He holds our little boat in the hollow of His hand.

Keep me safe 'til the storm passes by.

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