Last week as I wiggled my toes in the sand and looked out over the Sound, I envisioned the sailboats that soon would come out of their storage and take up residence among the hollows and crests of lapping waves of this inlet. The ocean is amazing to me, its beauty, its color reflecting the sky and its wonderful sounds. The waves are ruffled at the surface, but deep below there is quiet and it is somewhat motionless.
Last summer for my birthday, one of my kids rented a large sailboat to sail over this area around sunset. We were there vacationing for a week and everyday the weather had been beautiful. The night before the sail, however, a big storm had blown in and was threatening the next day. It was supposed to last all day. Miraculously 45 minutes before our voyage, we got a call from a member of the crew of the ship that the storm had blown by and the sail would be even better in the aftermath of the storm and it was!
Watching big sails unfurl and catch the wind reminded me of what life is like when God is the wind in your sail. It is in reading and quiet times with God that we unfurl the canvas and we are energized. As we then act in whatever situation we are involved in we start to notice fruit in our heart, love (not grouchiness), joy (not misery), peace (not anxiety), longsuffering (not impatience), gentleness (not hardness), goodness (not cruelty), faith (not fear), meekness (not arrogance), temperance (not greed) despite what is going on around us. (Galatians 5:22-23)
With God’s strength we are able to tackle even the most difficult tasks and projects. When the waves get rough we also have the courage to make those decisions that are necessary to move in the direction of still waters.
In Acts 12 it is recorded that Herod had killed James (one of the apostles) and Peter had been thrown in jail. There was great pressure all around and yet Peter was able to sleep (verse 6) in this ordeal and God was able to deliver him. This had all happened right after his meeting with the Cornelius household in one of the most significant events in God’s timetable. Waves of life come with crests and hollows.
I think of things that Peter must have remembered like walking on water, the transfiguration, standing up with the eleven on Pentecost, and healing the man at the temple gate. Unlike the walking on water incident, he did not hesitate to stand in the wake of the spiritual tsunamis that was pounding on Jerusalem. He did not question himself and his standing with God. He set his sail.
We also have access to God through Jesus Christ. God is faithful to His promises. He listens to our heart and His strength becomes our strength as he directs and guides us to safe harbors.