When Life is Anything but Smooth Sailing

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The day’s kayak adventure was anything but smooth sailing. Wind gusts pushed me around the lake like a cork in the ocean. The wind shifted on the return journey and at times I was paddling sideways. The boat rocked and I thought it would capsize.

As I struggled to keep the craft moving in the direction of my destination, an oddly timed thought popped into my head: “Now isn’t this a metaphor for life.” Once I finally dragged the kayak out of the water and onto the dock, I was able to think a little more about that passing thought. God revealed it fit perfectly in the context of my four days of Kayaking. 

I had two days of blissful weather. Smooth sailing all the way. I often post social media pictures of gorgeous sunrises while out riding my bike and I always think about Lamentations 3:22-23, about God’s mercies being new every morning. However, read those verses in the context of Ch 3. There is more to it than blissful sunrise mercies. 

The two other days of kayaking were pretty rugged. I got chased off the lake one day by a mounting storm and then today’s wind gusts. 

Question: Are God’s mercies only new on picture postcard mornings or are they new EVERY morning regardless? Obviously God’s mercies are new EVERY morning and especially so on those mornings when your life is being chased by storms or pushed around by the winds of life. 

1. You may be a believer and paddling blissfully through life. Your storm is coming. Christ guarantees it (John 16 is one place among others). Prepare yourselves IN HIM so that you can be ready to receive this truth when the storms come: God’s mercies are new for you EVERY morning. 

2. You may be a believer and your life’s little boat is being overwhelmed with depression, grief, battling a particular sin, health issues, broken relationships, despondency or so much more.  God’s mercies are new for you EVERY morning. Keep paddling IN CHRIST, not in your belief that you can overcome by your own strength. What control do you have over your circumstances? The Lamentations say, “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have HOPE: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;” (3:21-22‬). This is called perseverance. You are called to press on in faith until the end and HOPE IN CHRIST. It is HE who gets you home; you cling to Him. 

3. Finally, you may not have a relationship with Christ at all, and as positive as you may be about life, you recognize – if you’re honest with yourself – you have no real control over things like death, health, job, the way others treat you, etc. or you may be dealing with a destructive lifestyle to deaden the pain you feel inside or to keep from thinking about how little control you have in life. God’s mercies are new for you EVERY morning, but ONLY in Christ. ALL other world religions or spirituality require you to contribute some effort to become a better person. How do you know when you’ve done enough or when you’ve arrived? Only Jesus takes you as you are – sinful failings and all – because as God, He loves you (because He created you) and He knows there is nothing you can do to save yourself, so He did it for you. Only He can save you. However, you must recognize your need for His merciful forgiveness of your sinful life. Give your life to Him and obediently follow His good, gracious and MERCIFUL leadership of your life. 

Whatever type of water you’re paddling in life, Jesus sees you, knows you, knows your needs now and in the future. The best course to chart is toward Him.

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