Setting Our Sails

Sometimes a course change becomes necessary when we feel ill-prepared. Though we may have seen signs of storm clouds or shifting winds, the change of direction still somehow feels overwhelming. In the turn, there is a pause where the wind actually leaves the sails completely, only to allow us to move them so that they may reset and be filled again, allowing the vessel to glide on in a new direction. Though merely a matter of moments, that pause can feel eternal. The emptying, resetting, and readying to be refilled…

 

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the One who will keep you on track. – (Proverbs 3:5-6, The Message)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. – (Proverbs 3:5-6, NLT)

 

What we do in that pause is what matters most. Do we trust in Him, or do we allow the wind to blow us to and fro? As we seek Christ and His will, He will show us the direction that He intends for us to take. His very best for us will always be the way we are led. The best way is not always the easiest way, (as in fact there are almost always obstacles to overcome), but His way is the way that brings us to the place to which we are called, and that is the way that is best. May we trust in the Lord with our whole heart and not depend on what we perceive. Let us seek Him and His will in all that we do, and allow Him to lead us.

 

When sailing along,Setting Our Sails

and the wind has died;

we’ve done all we can,

all things, we have tried.

It is in that space,

where trust is required;

choose to wait in hope,

faith Christ has inspired.

For when all seems lost,

adrift in despair;

His sweet wind shall blow,

to move on from there.

When His wind does come,

we must choose respond;

or we’ll stay in stuck,

rather than sail on.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can trust You with all that we are and that we don’t need to try and figure it all out on our own. Thank You that when we listen for Your voice, You will speak to us and show is which direction we are to go. Forgive us for our lack of trust or for running ahead and choosing not to slow down to seek You to hear Your heart. Teach us to trust You more, so that we would seek You with all that we are in all that we do. Show us how to love others in the same way that You love each of us. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we wait patiently when the wind is shifting, and trust in You to guide us along the course to which we have been called. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Father, I thank You that You have heard me. – John 11:41

 

Sufficient Grace

When trials come, it is easy to default to the “O Lord get me out of this mess,” sort of posture. It is an automatic response to want difficulty to go away. However, God does not see the struggles the same way that we do. Rather than a chance of us being pulled under, He sees struggles as an opportunity for His strength to be shown. Paul, who had some sort of ongoing affliction, asked the Lord to take it away. Three times He asked God to take it away, and alas, God did not. “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – (2 Corinthians 12:9)

 

Though Paul’s initial request was for the Lord to take the affliction, the very struggle that hindered him away; when the Lord answered him, Paul’s perspective shifted. What he had viewed as a hindrance, he began to see as an opportunity to show the Lord’s strength. Once he recognized that it was only by God’s grace that he could do anything that the Lord was asking, he was empowered to embrace his weaknesses as opportunities for Christ’s strength to shine.

 

The challenge is how are we to do this practically? I have seen brilliant examples, as faithful warriors press on and pursue all that God has for them, despite the obstacles that life throws their way. Their resolve is deep-rooted in a firmly established relationship with the Father. Each of them fix their eyes and hearts securely on Him, and trust in His unwavering faithfulness. We are called to press in and persevere, regardless of what comes our way. As our roots run deep, His strength becomes more evident, even when we are weak.

 

We’re all in a boat,Sufficient Grace

somewhere off the shore;

some simply adrift,

while others want more.

Some paddle, pursue,

a course set afar;

and some are content,

to float where they are.

Both will endure waves,

and boats will be rocked;

one self-sufficient,

and one faith unlocked.

Both will come to know,

their own sense of need;

one calls on the Lord,

allowing Him lead.

For in our weakness,

His strength clearly shows;

may we boast in Christ,

as we daily grow.

May His power rest,

so powerfully;

that all who draw near,

will see Christ in me.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that Your grace is all that we need to get through our greatest challenges. Thank You that Your power is made perfect in our weakness. Thank You that You utilize every challenge as an opportunity to grow us in Your grace, and make Your presence and power known. Forgive us for somehow thinking that You are not enough to carry us when we are unable to stand. Give us wisdom to know when to ask for You to remove something and when to have Your strength come and carry us. Teach us to trust You completely, so that we are completely aware of Your will in all things and at all times. May we love as You love us, and may many come to know the power and presence that is available through the gift of Your grace. Be glorified as we go forth today, and be the strength of our lives. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Because of the tender mercy of our God, …the rising sun will come to us from heaven. – Luke 1:78