Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sailing in a storm

Years ago, I attended a conference with several women from TBC and heard a lady named Pamela Reeve speak. She had just published a book called Deserts of the Heart: Finding God During the Dry Times. She talked about times of suffering and finding God through it, times of dryness and drinking deeply of God. I don't remember too many specific words from the talk except for one quote which has stayed with me since. It was one of those moments where you hear something and never have to hear it again to remember it. I've since googled the author and work, so you can read the short poem it was taken from here.

Dr. Reeve paraphrased it for us...here's what goes through my mind often when I think about suffering.
It's a good reminder to me.
One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
'Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.

A friend asked me for a little explanation...you might think that a ship which only has sails for power must travel which ever way the wind blows them. But that's not how it works. The direction it travels is determined not by the wind direction but by the way you set the sails of the ship. The same wind can be used to travel either east or west. It's up to the sailor to determine the direction and set the sails properly to keep them on course.

So, too, I can have the mindset that there's nothing that I can do to change the course I'm on. I can become convinced that my reactions, emotions, etc. are determined by my circumstances instead of realizing that like Paul told the Philippians in chapter 4...
11b I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through (Christ) who strengthens me.


Kim Epperson said...

Hey, I remember that conference-but I don't think I made it to that particular meeting...too bad. But I did learn a few new things if you want me to share (ha ha). Seriously, thanks for the truth from Isaiah- I needed to drink those words in before I begin my day. Love ya lots!!!!

Kim said...

Ah, Come on, Kim. Share a little of what you learned with all of us! I'm sure everyone would be VERY interested! Love you, too...