DayBreaks for 3/18/19 – Rowing Into the Wind

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DayBreaks for 3/18/19: Rowing Into the Wind

From the DayBreaks archive, March 2009:

John 6:16-21: When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed three or three and a half miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were terrified. But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.

Isn’t this a great passage?  I love the simple, yet timeless lessons buried in it!  Consider:

FIRST: Did you notice how the waters grew rough right after it says, “…and Jesus had not yet joined them.”  It is not insignificant that the waters in our own life are always tougher to navigate when we try to make our own way through the waves without Jesus. 

SECOND: It is interesting that, even though they saw someone walking on the water towards them, that they weren’t willing to take the person into the boat until they knew it was Jesus.  I suppose that makes sense – after all – what normal human could walk on water, and I imagine that they thought he was a spirit of some kind.  Yet, sometimes, even when we know that Jesus is coming to us, we still aren’t willing to let him into the boat of our lives!

THIRD: As soon as Jesus is in the boat, the safety of the shore is reached.  As soon as we take Jesus into the boat of our lives, our destiny is safely delivered, not because of the result of our labor, but as the result of having Jesus “aboard”.

FOURTH: It appears the disciples were headed to Capernaum because that’s where Jesus told them to go and that he would join up with them there.  Shawn Craig, writing in “Between Sundays” said this: “Obedience to God’s will does not mean everything will go smoothly, that the wind will always be at our backs and that the journey will be easy.  Jesus told his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake, even though he knew the wind would be working against them.  Despite the wind’s contrariness, they struggled on, because they knew they were doing his will.”

If Jesus has sent you on a mission (and if you are a Christian, you’ve been sent on a mission to love God and our fellowman enough to share the gospel), the wind will work against you.  It is important that we don’t lose heart in the effort.  Perhaps it was just at the point that Jesus came to them that the disciples were ready to give up – I don’t know.  But miracles happen when Jesus shows up!  Let’s keep rowing – that’s our job – and let’s let him do his job – to get us to the destination safely!

Prayer:  Journey with us, Lord, as we navigate the shifting seas of life!  May we work in concert with Your Spirit at all times!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>


DayBreaks for 1/15/15 – Naming Your Boat

DayBreaks for 01/15/15 – Naming Your Boat

From the DayBreaks archive, 2005:


I had a boat once.  It was fiberglass, and had fins.  The lower part of the boat was white, and the upper part was a yucky pink color.  As with most things that we own, we had to name it.  We held a family discussion to determine the name, and our two boys (pretty young at the time we bought it), decided to christen the boat the “Pink Stink”.  (They did this partly because it had an outboard motor and the exhaust didn’t especially smell like a rose.) 

I wonder what the name of the boat was that the disciples were in when Jesus came to them on the water?  If it belonged to Peter, it could have been Simon’s Schooner or the Galilee Gale.  I guess we won’t know until we meet him someday. 

But, at some point, Peter decided to get out of the boat.  To do so, he had to overcome his fear and get out of the boat.  The boat represented safety.  The water danger.  Peter had to come to grips with his fear, wrestle with it, conquer it, and start walking. 

In his book, John Ortberg suggests that we all have “boats” that we need to get out of if we are to truly experience Jesus completely in all his wonder and power.  But how can we identify what our “boat” is?  He offers these suggestions:

FIRST: your boat is anything that to you represents safety and security – other than God Himself.  It is whatever you tend to put your trust and faith in to get you through the good and bad times, but especially during the storms. 

SECOND: your boat is whatever makes you comfortable – so comfortable that you don’t want to give it up even if you miss out on water-walking as a result of holding onto it.

THIRD: your boat is whatever keeps you from high discipleship. 

How can you “name” your boat – identify it?  He suggests we ask ourselves this question: “What is it that most produces fear in me – especially when I think of leaving it behind and stepping out in faith?”  It could be your job, it could be an unhealthy relationship that we’re too comfortable to leave even though we know it isn’t honoring to God or healthy for us, or, it could be secrecy about our sinfulness.  Even our success can be our “boat” – it was for the rich young ruler who refused to get out of his luxury “yacht” when Jesus asked him to sell all he had and come walk on the water with him.  It was too much for the rich man to surrender. 

Bottom line: your fear will tell you what your boat is.  Give it a name.  Acknowledge it as sin before God – because it is sin when anything becomes more important to us than walking with Jesus and trusting Him above all else.  Then, while looking steadfastly at Jesus, throw your leg over the side and walk to Him!

Copyright by 2005 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Reveal to us the name of our boat and give us the courage to climb out of it so we can water-walk with You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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