Tuesday, March 24 “BELOW THE WATER LINE”
-By Kevin Van Wyhe
There is something special about being out on a lake in a sail boat. There is a simple quietness that can be felt as you glide through the water, free from the overwhelming growl of a noisy motor. There is a peaceful joy that takes over as you feel the warm sun and cool breeze blending on your face in perfect harmony. If you have ever been out on a sail boat, you know exactly what I am taking about.
For a bystander, a sail boat appears to be a simple boat with a mast and a collection of differing sized sails attached, each designed to catch the wind and harness it’s energy to propel the boat forward. Generally these vessels are spotted on days where there is the right amount of wind needed to keep them moving at a steady and comfortable pace. What most non sailing spectators don’t realize is that these simple looking boats are not just designed to handle a small breeze and a few choppy waves. They are often designed to take on a great deal of wind and much larger swells. The only way you can tell how equipped these boats are to tackle a strong wind is not by what can be seen above the surface, but by what is unseen below. It is what is below the water line that determines the readiness of a sail boat to withstand a storm.
Below a sailing vessel, there is something called a “keel” and a “ballast”. The keel is a long, skinny, aerodynamic structure protruding from the bottom of the hull. It is designed so the boat can travel against the wind and perform maneuvers that would be impossible in it’s absence. The keel is what allows the captain to steer the boat and stay on course and not be tossed and turned by the wind and waves.
The ballast is a heavy weight strategically placed on the bottom of the keel. This off setting weight exists to keep the boat upright and prevent it from being capsized in extreme conditions. In combination, these below the water line features are really what makes all the difference in the presence of powerful winds.
As followers of our Lord and Savior, we are called to be prepared in order to stay upright and on course in the wind and waves of the storms we encounter in this world. In Colossians 2 and Philippians 4, the Apostle Paul gives us instructions on what we need to possess below our spiritual waterline to ready ourselves for any and all situations.
Colossians 2:6-7 6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
Philippians 4:6-7 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Being rooted in our faith in Jesus Christ and in his word is like the keel in our lives that keeps us from being blown back and forth by the winds of hardship and the waves of sin we face each day. God’s word gives us the strength and guidance that is required to face our earthly struggles head on.
Leaning and trusting in the power we have through prayer in our Maker and Savior is like the ballast that will keep us from spiritually capsizing. Praying in any and every situation is what is required, especially when we face storms that seem too big for us to navigate.
When the bystanders of the world observe the life of a Christian, it is often only what is above the water line that they are able to witness. In times of crises, pain, and uncertainty, what is below the water line becomes exposed. In these times, the strength of being rooted in the keel of God’s word and the untippable power of being grounded in the ballast of prayer creates a remarkable combination. A combination that can withstand even the most powerful of storms and one that will surely be noticed by others. Our witness to those around us during a crisis will surely be marked by our dependence on these two essentials.
We are certainly in storm right now. Just moments ago our state was given an executive stay at home order. The storm seems to be almost upon us. For many it is already here. The moments of feeling the warmth of sun on our face and the calm cool breeze as we sail through easy days will likely have to be put on hold for a time. We have hope and assurance of what the future holds because we know who holds the future and we do no need to be anxious or afraid. God can handle it!
Maybe now would be a good time to take a look at what is below your spiritual water line. How is your keel of faith? Are you being strengthened by spending time each day in God’s word and applying it to your life? How is your Ballast of prayer? Are you connecting daily to the one who is the giver and sustainer of life?
It’s never too late to discover the assurance and peace that comes from being rooted in faith and grounded in prayer.
God, give me strength today to face what tomorrow holds. Speak to me through your living Word and your unfailing promises. May I trust in you no matter what. As the unknowns of this fast approaching storm come ashore, may my faith in you be evident to others and my strength to stay upright come from you. Thank you for being my God and my savior. Thank you for giving me Hope through your resurrected son. AMEN
KEEP LOOKING UP, CAUSE HE WILL NEVER LET YOU DOWN!!!
In His Grip,