Sailing Away Forever

America is sailing through a terrible storm. We’re foundering in national debt. Burdened by current affairs abroad and at home. Tossed and turned by injustices in every stratum of society. Violent men increase, punching holes in the hull, and in each other, with jagged harpoons. And meanwhile our beloved family, the engine of our vessel, is breaking apart. Books like Fifty Shades of Grey reflect how muddied our morals, and our waters, have become.

While we wander aimlessly, the winds howl. Massive swells roll along, one after another, with no end in sight. Waves are crashing over the bow, swamping the deck, filling holds. The sails are shredded. The skies are so turbulent we can’t hear ourselves think. We’re somewhere we’ve never been, with hidden rocks all around, and no sense of direction. We are powerless. Any moment we’ll be dashed, and sunk.

What we once held in high regard as our duty to carry out our various responsibilities on deck, we’ve now abandoned through mutiny, trying to possess a vessel that is not ours, one too powerful to steer. So we’re hiding below in a pitchblack hold, ashamed, afraid, unwilling to fetch our Captain out of the water. Vainly, we’re trying to loft belay pins at the helm thinking we can steer the vessel ourselves. Where are the calm waters? Where is the hope? Who will save us from the storm we’ve led ourselves into?

It comes with apologizing to our Captain, Jesus Christ, for throwing Him overboard.

He’s there, waiting.

Ready to forgive.

God is greater than any little storm. His plan is greater than our mutiny. He not only allowed for our ship to sail into stormy waters; He made it possible for us to sail out of it. Our hearts may be raging and empty, tossed here, thrown there, without Him. The storms may come, worse than we imagined. We may feel a terror so overwhelming that we’ve lost our propriety, trying to salvage only ourselves. But even now, there is hope.

The hope is in our Captain. He has a handy ability of walking on water. He also is the exceptional Seaman—splicing lines, splicing frayed spirits. He can mend the largest holes in a ship, the largest in a heart. His purpose is an unfailing binnacle, guiding us due west to the horizon, and beyond. He’s deft aloft, mending haggard sails so our lungs can be filled again. He is the bravest Helmsman, unafraid to take on any storm, even the one that destroyed Him—to know the path out of our storms, into peaceable seas.

Also in His list of skills is saving the world. He’s sort of cornered the market on that one.

We did throw Him off, and He was attacked by sharks—not by the ones in the sea, but by His best friends, you and me, as we fought to drown the very life from Him, succeeding at it.

But Jesus is of the Deep, of an Ancient Glory. He goes farther and down, deeper than we imagine. And what was down and lost, burst into life again. And He will never quit on you or me. This is the impossible, made alive. He is impossible. And He Is.

He rescues imperfect sailors and throws them into the wind where they must learn courage and grace to swerve with Him in and through the waves. He can helm anything—even a man. The language of His seamanship is perseverance and fortitude, strength and valor, kindness and joy, and love, speaking direction patiently into His crew.

At His finest, He is the Captain in duress, waiting for you and me to invite Him aboard. Out of free love, out of the unfathomable power of His love, He calls us again out of the bilge to see the view: of an unbounded sea. And His ship, driven not around the storm but through it, is to destroy for all time the scrim of chaos on the high seas.

He is perfect. He is the One and Only Son of God. The Alpha and Omega. The I Am. The Perfect Sailor. He is doing what a sailor does best: grabbing hold: One hand for the ship, one hand for all of us. He is full of compassion, ready to forgive. And He is not quitting. He will not quit. He won’t quit on you and me. He will not quit. He won’t quit. He will never quit. Never. Ever. Not ever.

He will not quit. His faith is so great that He makes His Words true when He speaks them. And He’s promised to helm any man willing to surrender to Him—his heart, his ship, his wayward direction—that is profoundly at peace only in Him. He knows where you’re headed. So go there with Him. Let the impossible happen. Let Him handle your fears. And all those terrible waves that never seem to end. Let Him fill you with perseverance to run in the wind.

America is struggling along like a damaged vessel, badly in need of repair. The storms come mercilessly, and it is terrifying. But if we just call Him, Jesus will be the Captain of our souls.

Starting Today, He’ll take us on a neverending journey into His kingdom, into His deepest paradise of a hidden realm with waters sheltering His most secret imagination, just for you and me, this eternal life with Him—you and I His, sailing in calm waters, sailing away forever.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition form sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” ~ Hebrews 12:1-3

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