Don’t fight the waves.
It’s true when sailing and it’s especially true about real life events and experiences.
The day was overcast as we stepped onto the sailboat for our excursion on the York River. Our captain instructed our guys in steering the boat and in putting up the sail, and we were off.
Each time we wanted to turn, we had to look at the wind vane high at the top of the mast and see which way the wind was going. Then, in contrast to what I would have done, we turned toward the wind, every time.
Our guide told us, “You don’t fight the waves. You turn toward the waves. You lean into them. If you don’t, you can go under.”
I’ve learned that about life.
Fighting what happens only hinders conquest and makes the waves more dangerous. Fighting the waves wears us out emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
We also need to be aware that our keel must be authentic. A keel is the fixed underwater part that provides stability and prevents drifting. For the Christian, the Word is our keel. It guarantees that the boat cannot sink.
Lean Into the Wind
There’s a lesson in scripture about this. Leaning into Truth will direct our course. Instead of focusing on the waves and the turbulence, we need to find the direction God is taking us, and lean into His plan.
The correct way to sail our boat is to claim scriptures that encourage us to believe in the power of God. We need to believe that His purposes are good. We need to give Him the shipwreck of our lives and allow Him to turn it into something good. That is the way we should sail.
It’s not easy. Sometimes it is just plain hard.
Know – and Trust – the Master of the Wind
A few weeks ago, I prayed that kind of prayer. I was on my way to meet Dave in the emergency room of our local hospital. He was having chest discomfort and it had moved to his jaw, so I knew that meant it was probably his heart*. Every traffic light (a total of three in ten miles) turned red as I approached, thwarting my attempt to get there quickly.
So, while I sat at the red light in Riverdale, waiting for what seemed forever, I prayed.
“God, You are good. I don’t know what is going to happen with Dave today, but You do. I know that You are good. Even if things don’t turn out the way I want them to turn out, I will still claim You as good. Even so, I ask you to spare Dave’s life – if this is Your will. But no matter what happens, I will claim that You are good.”
I shudder at sharing this because it makes me afraid of a time the waves will seem to overtake my small sailboat. I know that can happen. People can say, “Of course she can say that because her husband lived.”
I have learned to turn to the wind and not fight what happens. Fighting the waves does not change what will happen. It only weakens me and puts my focus on the waves (which will bring me down) instead of turning my eyes to the Captain of my ship.
Just so, that day on the York River, when the guy at the helm wanted to turn the boat, he had to look at the wind vane high above the mast, notice which was the wind was blowing, and turn toward the wind.
When the sails had to be moved so that the wind would help move the sailboat, the tour guide instructed us, “Stay the course!” Once he looked at me, smiled, and said, “And that’s not just figuratively, either!”
Stay the course. Don’t jump ship. Don’t fight the waves. Keep your eyes on the horizon and keep going. Don’t give up and don’t give in to the course that is set before you.
I know that every day and all the time, God is good. When life is too hard to bear, when things don’t make sense, and when bad things happen to us, God still is good. He is using those waves for our eternal good and His eternal glory.
Learning to lean into the waves ensures that my ship won’t be overcome. Learning to sail along with what comes my way ensures that I won’t be overcome with what could happen. Learning to lean into the wind and the waves ensures that I will reach my destination.
There are three things I learned on the York River that are just as pertinent to life as they are to sailing.
- Don’t fight the waves.
- Lean into the wind.
- Set your course in line with the wind, for He is the Master of it all.
When we know the Master of the wind, we can trust Him to guide our ship safely Home.
If you are struggling today and the waves are rocking your boat, perhaps listening to this song will be an encouragement to you. To hear the song I know the Master of the Wind, click on the link below.
*(It was his heart. He survived a heart attack, and after the 100% blockage was removed and two stents put in, he is recovering well. God was so gracious. Please thank Him with us!)