POINTS TO PONDER

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Sometimes I find a quote from a person whose biography is impossible to find. But from the language used by this writer, it appears that he wrote this over one-hundred years ago when sailing boats were the main source of transportation over water. His pen name is Hanmer Parsons Grant and he said, “We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.” In other words, since you know you have to go somewhere or do something that’s very important in your life and livelihood, don’t wait for the perfect time to do it, that will never come.

Psychologists tell us that when facing hard times, we should think about what we need to do, don’t do anything foolhardy because you’re in a hurry. In fact, write down your options and see which one seems the best choice for you. Don’t get discouraged if your solution doesn’t work out exactly as you planned it. Look at your options again.

The next thing to do is ask yourself how realistic your worry is. Remember, our imaginations can create obstacles that don’t really exist. Remember Don Quixote? Never let fear of the unknown cause you to build bridges over rivers you’ll never cross. You’ve got a lot of good things in your life, let them encourage you. Not only that, but these tough times are really a learning opportunity. You can learn more by putting something together wrong than if you get it right the first time.

Then, you need not face tough times alone. Find out if your best friend or closest confident can help you think about what to do. Seeking advice is not a sign of weakness but of wisdom. When things go wrong no matter what you’ve tried up to that point. Don’t act brave by keeping your frustration bottled up inside. Let them out, even if the only person you have to talk to at the moment is the one you see in the mirror.

Of course, if you are a believing Christian and have faith and trust in God your heavenly Father, and Jesus your personal Savior, and the Holy Spirit your unerring guide and comforter, you have a lot going for you. Here’s a story from the Bible that will give you an example of those who had all the help they needed but just didn’t bother to trust in it.

One day at evening time, Jesus said to his followers, “Let’s go across this lake to the other side.” So they left the crowd behind and went with Jesus into the boat He already boarded. There were also other boats that went alongside with them. Suddenly a huge storm came up on the lake. The waves were pouring in over the sides of the boat, and it was quickly filling up with water.

Jesus was up at the stern of the boat, sleeping soundly with his head on a pillow. The disciples went to wake Him up. Shaking Him they said, “Teacher! Teacher! don’t you care about us? The ship is about to sink and we are going to drown!” Jesus opened His eyes, stood up and gave a command to the wind and the waves. “Be quiet! Settle down!”

Once the wind stopped, and the lake became as smooth as glass. He admonished His followers, “Why are you so afraid? Don’t you have any faith at all?” They stood there in awe, and were very afraid to ask each other, “Who in the world is this man that He can say to the winds and the waves be quiet and even they obey Him as their Master?”1

Sometimes it may seem like we need to wake Jesus up to get His attention. But our Lord laid His head on that pillow already knowing that a storm was coming. That’s why He told His disciples, in the first place, that they were going across the lake to the other side. He just wanted to see if they trusted Him whether He was wide awake and helping them or simply because He was in the boat. I’m sure we all have experienced these storms, but the real question is whether we acted like the disciples here in this case, or did we perform like Jesus was hoping we would? – Dr. Robert R Seyda

1 Matthew 8:23-27 & Mark 4:35-41 combined.

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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