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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Who's at the helm?

Show me your faithful love this morning. I trust in you. Show me what I should do.  I put my life in your hands! Show me what you want me to do. You are my God. Let your good Spirit lead me over level ground. (Psalm 143:8,10 ERV)

Edward Gibbons reminds us, "The winds and the waves are always on the side of the ablest navigators." Sometimes I find myself navigating on the worst side of the winds and waves, how about you? It is like all I can do is barely keep the boat of my life from capsizing and the wind and waves seem to be working against me at every turn. In those moments, all our efforts are placed in just making it through the storm. The ability to navigate the storms of life aren't so much found in our own strength or "navigation skills". The ability we need to navigate the wind and waves is that which comes from the Spirit of God helping us to read those winds, observe the movement of the waves coming against us, and then to successfully point the nose of our "life boat" at the right "attitude" so we don't capsize. The attitude of the nose too high and we could end up in pieces; too low and we will take on way too much water; turned sideways and we will likely end up in the drink. The "attitude" makes all the difference.

Our psalmist reveals a couple things about his "attitude" we might do well to keep in mind when the winds and wave come our way:

Expectancy - there is an attitude of actively awaiting what is needed to endure and overcome these winds and waves. It isn't passive waiting, but active looking ahead. Too many times we don't look beyond the present wave - we just get so focused on the one right in front of us. The psalmist reminds us of the importance of keeping our gaze fixed on what is in our immediate focus, but what also is about to come as a result of the movement or position we assume throughout each rise and fall of the waves.

Trust - here is the crux of learning to be wise navigators in the storms of life. We must learn where it is we will place our trust. It isn't in the strength of the boat, but in the wisdom of the one who we allow to navigate it through the storm. I recently rented a motorboat to do some fishing. I was so busy trying to navigate the boat, I barely got to enjoy the fishing! The one navigating the vessel is ensuring the safety of all that is within the vessel. To trust the navigation of our life's "boat" to anyone other than Christ is dangerous.

Faith - he knows the destination is level ground. In maintaining the right attitude as it applies to the wind and waves, the psalmist reminds us we can look forward to the level grounds. They may not be in our immediate line of sight, but when we are expectant and trusting in the right navigator, they are assured! Just sayin!