The words “safe harbor” keep coming to mind, that Christ is our safe harbor during all the storms of life. Sometimes the water is smooth, and we sail through easily with the praise of God on our lips. Sometimes the water is choppy, and we can manage okay if we send out a few prayer requests and dig a little deeper into the Word. Sometimes the seas are downright rough, but still we manage with the help of our prayer warriors and seeking godly counsel.
Then sometimes we are completely cast overboard. So we look for someone to throw us a life preserver, something we can hold onto and stay afloat, and sometimes someone does. We can climb back in the boat, praise God for our narrow escape, and go back to living life as usual. But sometimes there is no life preserver. You thrash around in the water as best you can, but panic seizes you. You realize that there is nothing or no one that can put you back in the boat. This is how I felt when my former husband died very suddenly.
Just as you are flailing around in the darkness in the water, you look up, and across the waves, you can see a dancing sliver of light. You frantically dog-paddle toward the light, and it becomes a teeny little brighter. You think, “This is too hard. I’m not that good of a swimmer. I thought I was, but I don’t have the strength.” But the light is beckoning. And each time you bravely take a lunge toward that light, a wind seems to come up and push you a little closer.
“I am the light of the world.” The words come from someplace deep inside of you. “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.” “I have come so that they might have life and have it to the full.” “For I know the plans I have for you….to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.” The words keep coming…“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
The Spirit continues to bring the Word from your inner being and gives you the courage to keep slowly moving forward as the light gets brighter and shows you the way. You know those words and you know who the Word is. “Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” You stop struggling and let the wind of the Spirit carry you home.
As a light from a lighthouse, He beckons us on until we make it safely back to harbor, safely in His arms. He will never leave us or forsake us. But sometimes he doesn’t allow us to get back into the boat because the boat is not what we need. He lets us feel the panic or the ache or the longing so that we will struggle our way to Him and know that He is enough. No matter how many times we are cast into stormy seas, He will always show us the way to safety because He is the light. Just like Peter in his fear of sinking while walking on the water, we will find that we were never in danger. We were right where we were supposed to be, with Jesus at arm’s reach all along. And though we may lose our way for a time, in Christ we are never lost.
This post was written as an entry in my journal during my season of singleness after the death of my former husband in 2007. Then, seven years later, Mark and I moved to Texas and away from family following the direction of the Lord. It felt at times as though I had again been cast overboard as homesickness overtook me. Reading this post that I wrote so many years ago comforted me at that time because it reminded me He was with us and had a good plan for us. Now, in 2020, we’ve been back in Arkansas with family for almost two years. Still, with all that is going on in the world and the angst that I feel, Jesus continues to be my safe place, the one who holds my heart. He is your safe place too. No matter what you are going through, look for Him. Run to Him. He is faithful. He will carry you through. And if you will say yes to His will, it will be an amazing ride.