Friday, June 11, 2010

Blown Back On Course (June 11)

Sailors on long ocean voyages have always dreaded storms that appear on the horizon, knowing that a large storm will test both the seaworthiness of their craft and their maritime skills. Major storms at sea will almost always throw a vessel off course; in earlier times, extended storms that blocked out the sun and stars for days and nights on end made accurate navigation nearly impossible.

However, sometimes in life a storm has the opposite effect. Sometimes storms suddenly appear with the effect of knocking us back on course. Calm seas and sunny skies lead to complacency; complacency leads to drift. When complacency sets in, we still know where the navigation points of sun and stars are located, we just don't check them as we should.

For a believer, the Word, prayer, worship and honest relationships are the stuff of "abiding in Christ" (Jn 15:4), the keys to staying on course.

Navigational drift begins with ingratitude. Another five degrees off course comes self-sufficiency. But because it all happens under the sunny skies of grace, drift is imperceptible.

"We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away." (Heb 2:1)

I'm only a few weeks into this storm, but already I've found myself wondering how anyone goes through this without faith in Christ. I also can't see how any believer can weather this storm without questioning their faith, having it severely tested and ultimately strengthened. How foolish to waste a life-event like this; to be like the proud handyman who, carrying more equipment than he can handle, misses a step, trips down the stairs, lands with a crash and then jumps up to declare, "I'm okay!"

I'm not okay.

This storm is tearing up the sails and threatening the mast...and that's okay. I think I was drifting and I need what this storm is supposed to do.

I want this storm to blow me back on course. So I'm praying for spiritual renewal and physical healing. I appreciate your praying with and for me.