Have you ever noticed just when you think you finally have everything under control, a new storm comes up in your life? Call it a tempest, a tornado, or a twister. It crops up just when you think you’ve reached the point of smooth sailing, and it reminds you how badly you need Jesus in your boat.
I remember my first time rafting at summer camp in Colorado. Having grown up in the West Texas desert, I had limited experience with water, and I swallowed hard when I saw the rapids of the Colorado river. Apparently nine of us were going to board a raft to navigate the river. We snapped on our orange life vests and grabbed the oars as our coach explained that obeying his orders would help us keep control of the raft. Seeing everyone else’s bravado helped me pretend I felt just fine about the whole thing, but secret dread filled my heart.
Sure enough, our raft capsized on the first rocks, not thirty feet from our starting point. So much for controlling the raft. Shivering in the water, I waited while the coach turned the raft right side up and began to help people back in. The rest of the trip alternated between smooth sailing and rocky rapids. Just when I got to enjoying the smooth ride, more rapids would lurch our boat.
Life is kind of like that river rafting. Calm waters don’t last long.
Your new puppy is finally housetrained, but then he gets an intestinal parasite. So “housetrained” is no longer a thing. Your kids finally get adjusted to life in a new city when you get word of another job transfer. You think your family deserves some smooth sailing, but then someone gets really sick. Or makes a really bad decision. Fear blasts into your life like a windstorm.
We need someone to smooth out our storms and help us navigate, don’t we? How about inviting Jesus in to come in and calm the waters?
What’s rocking your boat today?
Let’s remember the story of Jesus walking out to the disciples’ boat in the middle of a windstorm. In Mark 6:45-52, Jesus sent the disciples ahead to cross the lake while He went up on a mountain to pray. Strong winds came up, and the disciples strained to row the boat. But Jesus saw them from afar. Walking on water, He drew near to calm their fears, and when Jesus climbed into the boat with them, the wind died down (v 51).
What winds are coming against you today, friend? You’re probably not trying to row a boat to the other side of a lake, but if you’re like the rest of us, you may be dealing with stress, struggle, and even suffering in your life. Winds of worry may blast you, but Jesus never leaves you.
Maybe you need to hear His words again:
Let’s take a moment today to look at Jesus.
Not only is He standing right there, He’s coming our way with help, hope, and provision. Let’s call out to Jesus and invite Him into our boat. Let’s surrender each trouble, each challenge and worry to Him. Every fretful thought.
Will you pray with me now? “Jesus, I invite you to come into my boat today. Please stay with me so that the wind in my life will calm down.”
Simple Scripture Journaling Idea for Distracted Women:
- Read Mark 6:45-52
- Write down v. 51
- Jot down a list of what’s rocking your boat today and lift up each concern to Jesus.
- Write your own one sentence prayer to invite Jesus into your boat.
Are you facing the challenges of life on an empty tank? Need help renewing your relationship with God?
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Bev @ Walking Well With God says
As a Camp counselor, I help guide expeditions down the rapids of Ohio Pyle on the Youghogheny River each summer. I think I went through as many rapids outside the raft as I did inside. Why? Because as you head toward a rock you keep paddling and you lean into the obstacle rather than run away from it. If you run to the back of the raft, the raft invariably runs up the side of the rock and flips over – tossing everyone inside the raft out. How many times do we sink because we don’t listen to Jesus as he gives instructions from inside the boat or from outside the boat?? Whether in a place of safety in the boat, we need to listen to His voice and even more so when we are tossed into the drink. No matter what, He is our life preserver.
Yes, Bev! that’s a great application, I almost mentioned it in my post, but I figured it went another direction! But it’s so true. We capsize because we’re not listening to His instructions, don’t we?
Do you have any Bible studies for sale? Are there any you would recommend?
Hi there Shari, if you subscribe to my blog, you get my free 10 Day study on the first chapters of John, and come September, I will publish a book on Amazon: More of God: A Distracted Woman’s Guide to More Meaningful Quiet Times.
Sarah Geringer says
Thank you for this encouragement, Betsy. I have a very busy week, and you’ve reminded me to invite Jesus into it when the stress builds up. Blessings to you, friend! Sharing on Twitter and Pinterest.
Oh Sarah, sorry you’ve had a busy week! I know the feeling. May the Lord pour out abundant grace on you.
Stacey Pardoe says
This was just what I needed to hear today, Betsy! I feel like it’s been one storm after another lately, and these words were an anchor for my soul! Bless you as you speak truth!
Oh Stacey, I’m sorry about your storms. I’ve had plenty of them too lately. May you hear that steady voice, “Take courage. It is I. Don’t Be Afraid.”
Beautiful encouragment, as always, friend! This practice of writing down our struggles and then claiming the truth from Scripture over them is powerful! And, life will hit you like a hurricane when you’re least expecting it. Blessings to you, friend! XOXO
I know you’ve seen hurricanes yourself, Liz. Blessings and grace to you today, friend.
Anna Smit says
Thank you for this encouragement, Betsy. I had a really awful counseling session on Tuesday and it rocked my boat. But the next day I put on worship music and as I sung with gusto, twirled my girls around in the air and declared God’s goodness, suddenly everything else faded. I remembered truth and rejoiced in it. It reminded me of the importance of praising God through the storms. Yes! We need to invite Jesus into our boat 😊.
Oh Anna. I’m so sorry to hear about that awful counseling session. I’m praying now for you. So glad the next day was better. Yes, PRAISE is a great way to invite Jesus into our boat. Love to you.
Debbie Williams says
Love this friend. “Winds of worry may blast you but Jesus never leaves you.”
Thanks, sweet Debbie.
Sarah Donegan says
I didn’t really like it in calm water, so nope. Not going there. 🙂
Yes, life would be easier if less bad came up, but then I wouldn’t have to rely on Jesus and stay close to Him!
Right? I’d rather have less bad myself, but I guess I’d think I could do things on my own that way. Grace to you, Sarah.
When life’s storms arise, I trust in God more, sensing my powerlessness. It’s often when I draw most close to Him and while I never love them, these storms always root my faith more. Beautiful illustration and truth here Betsy!
bethany mcilrath says
Such a calming truth! Thank you, Betsy!
Michele Morin says
I’m no adventurer in the water, so this image of the rocky rafting trip has me in its grip!
Everyday, I need to invite Jesus into the boat!
Crystal Storms says
I have many memories of rafting the Colorado River. Yes, things can change quickly. Great illustration, Betsy! Beautiful reminder that I’m not alone but can call out to Jesus as I deal with the site issues. Thank you!
Kristi Woods says
Great post, Betsy! I tweeted your “Winds of worry” comment above. Powerful. It’s time to look in my own life and invite Jesus into a couple of areas where the waters feel awfully choppy. Love you.
Oh Kristi, I get you, Girl. Praying here that your eyes will be opened to seeing Him in your boat ALREADY! (you and me both!)
Such a timely, encouraging word! Thank you for sharing!
God’s blessings to you, Patricia!
Lisa Appelo says
Betsy, so thankful God is in the boat with us! And controls the storm. Good words, friend.
Thanks, Lisa. I think your spring break is over, friend?
This is a wonderful post and exercise to do. Please keep the good ideas about Bible study coming! Thanks and blessings, N
Thanks, friend. Blessings to you too.
I know! Just when I hit a smooth patch, turbulence comes! It could be as little as a shake up in my daily schedule – or something bigger that hurts my heart so. It could be a 5 minute thing – or last a year. Knowing Jesus is standing with me makes all the difference. I remember white water rafting – and my husband had told me the rapids were pretty rough – especially one of them. I grew up loving the water, swimming, going out on the river occasionally. I kept looking for the “rough” rapids – and finally looked at him and said, “Is that all?!” LOL – However, I have learned that what turns my world upside down is not always what turns another’s upside down. This is such an good morning reminder for me before I set out on my day – to be remember Jesus is right there beside me! Shalom, Betsy!
Oh Maryleigh, you’re a breath of fresh air here! I know what you mean about how it can be a five minute thing or a year! It doesn’t take much to shake me up. I’m working at asking Jesus into my boat for the small things!