Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Safe Harbor Anyone?

Safe Harbor:  Any place that offers protection in a storm or wartime.  I read that sailors are to be prepared for the storm - knowing in advance what the weather will bring.  They are to read the signs - being ever vigilant to the changes in the winds, skies, and the like.  In so doing, they are instructed to head immediately to safe harbor when they see the rapidly rising storm.  It is one thing to sail into a safe harbor - knowing you will shelter or refuge there. It is quite another to sail away or out of it.  One thing I see when sailing away from safe harbor is the "risk" associated in that movement.  We set sail into uncharted territory - uncertain about that which lies ahead.  The only thing we know is that we are leaving the place of safety.

My help and glory are in God—granite-strength and safe-harbor-God—so trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for him.  God is a safe place to be.  (Psalm 62:7-8 MSG)

One thing I know for sure - God is the one who provides the safety we need in the storm, but he is also the one who will guide us with security out of the place of safe harbor.  The key to leaving the place of safety and security, setting sail into uncharted territory is who pilots the ship we set sail in!  If God is the pilot (not the copilot), we know he has the expertise to sail us right past all the hazards that lie just beneath the surface of the waters we sail.  

Most of us want a place of safety and security.  We look for the "comfort zone" only because it is there we are kept from the ups and downs of actually being tossed about in the storms of life.  It is not a wrong thing to want a place of safe harbor - in fact, God wants to be that place.  Yet, if we always remain in that harbor, never sailing out of the place of comfort, we will never discover what God plans for our lives.

There are various kinds of safe harbors in our lives.  Some of us have the need for a safe harbor for our minds.  We get so muddled up in the storms of thoughts we cannot keep one from getting all mixed up with the other.  We are tossed to and fro by the storms of thought.  In finding a safe harbor for our minds, we are coming to a place where the frenzy is allowed to stop long enough to sort out the actions that match up with the thoughts.  In other words, we get a chance to settle down, think things through and really make choices based on facts, not emotions.  God provides these places of safe harbor for our mind - we just need to pull into them now and again to really get out of the storm that rages.  If we don't we get so tossed by the storms, we actually begin to take on water and drown in the mess of our own thoughts.  

Some of us need a safe harbor for our bodies.  We get physically beat up by the storms of life - physically exhausted by the demands placed upon us.  We run hither and yon, never really taking time to rest.  The problem with this type of constant activity is in the damages of the fatigue which we may not immediately see, but which are occurring nonetheless.  A sailor knows he can only stay in the intensity of the rough seas for so long - to stay longer will have an untold effect on his sails, his masts, and his ship's hull.  The constant beating of the waves and the ripping effect of the winds will leave his ship battered.  Safe harbor allows rest for his vessel.  He can weather the storm much better in a strong vessel.  

Others of us need a safe harbor for our spirit.  We are so inundated by the constant onslaught of the enemies attacks - we just need a place to "lay up" for a while.  We aren't taking ourselves out of the battle, but we are being wise in regrouping, getting the handle on what the enemy's doing, and then prepare our defenses against the attack.  In wartime, the ship pulls into safe harbor, not to "hide" from the enemy, but to "out maneuver" the enemy.  In that one move, the enemy is rendered a huge blow.  Some of us would do well to learn the safety of the harbor in out maneuvering our enemy.

Yes, we need safe harbors.  We also find ourselves called out into the seas once again - leaving the security and safety of the quiet harbor.  In actually leaving safe harbor, you face the uncertainty of the deep waters again.  But...don't lose sight of who sails the ship.  Safe harbor is often the very place where the "captaining" of our ship is handed over to the one who actually knows the uncharted waters of our voyage and can navigate them with both expertise and safety.  Just sayin!

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