Sharing the Fruit of God's Spirit

Lessons from the Sea: Navigating Life’s Turbulent Times

Posted by on Jan 26, 2016 in Blog, Christian Living | 2 comments

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“Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from beginning to end.”

Hebrews 12:2

For our daughter-in-law’s 30th birthday, we planned a sunset cruise, four hours together “when the afternoon sun brings a special magical hue to the majestic Na Pali Coast.”

Except when it doesn’t.

I don’t remember magical hues. I barely glimpsed the Na Pali Coast. I spent the entire time trying to hold onto my stomach. Overlooked in the brochure’s beautiful photos were the words, “Come prepared for the beauty, the motion and the ocean.”

More accurately stated: The motion of the ocean.

Ninety minutes into our four-hour adventure, our catamaran, The Lucky Lady, turned north into turbulent seas. What was expected to be “about 10 minutes” of “choppy waters” became another 90 minutes of 10-foot swells. Remembering that I don’t do rollercoasters, I grabbed the railing and began praying. Please, God, no. Please, God, no. Waves of nauseousness rolled over me, sending me and too many others scurrying for calm. But a 60-foot boat has no calm. And there was still the return trip.

Fortunately, I never got sick. But I was so miserable that I scowled at the stunningly beautiful coastline and thought, Now can we go home?

I’d lost my focus. As my older son, Kyle, reminded me, “Mom, you just gotta keep your eyes on the shore. Stay focused on something.”

At first I’d closed my eyes in an effort to avoid what I didn’t want to see. Then as the boat crashed through the waves, I closed my eyes as salt water drenched us. Both left my stomach lurching.

We all survived the adventure, but honestly, we needed about 24 hours before we could laugh about it. The next night we attended a luau, grateful for the chance to enjoy the special magical hue to an old majestic plantation.

It’s the start to a new year. I have the best of intentions, great resolutions, wonderful goals for 2016. I also know that with the beauty will come the motion of the ocean. There will be turbulence and splendor, but God is with us. My husband, Kurt, never left my side on the boat, even holding my just-in-case (but thankfully, not necessary) bucket for a time. In life God never leaves our side. He is our calm in choppy waters, the peace that surpasses all understanding, that majestic place in life. What a focus! What a spectacular vista!

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  1. Jan Cleveland

    Beautifully said, Deanna – so many times when life is rocky, we forget to focus “on the shore” … which is the Lord. Thank you for your refreshing words in the midst of your own personal storm (the boat ride)!! Blessings!

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