Sailing Through Tough Times

Setting Sail

I had the opportunity to spend some time out in San Diego this week and I have to say that it is a lovely city.  While most of my time was spent in a business conference I did find some time to go for a run by the bay.  I saw boats and yachts of all sizes but the ones that really captured my attention were the sail boats.  I love the grace and beauty with which they move.  It is captivating to see the full sail steadily guiding the ship to its destination.  At one point I saw two sail boats moving in opposite directions and I was reminded of poem written by Ella Wheeler:

“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.”

This same truth brought out in this poem about sailing is true in other aspects of life as well.  You can see different people react to the very same circumstance in life in very different ways.  The same difficult circumstance in life can cause some to react negatively and some to react positively.  Some will become bitter and some will become better.  Paul spoke of such things in his letter to the Philippians.  In Philippians 4:11 Paul said,

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.”  Phil 4:11

Paul was someone who knew the highs and lows that this life had to offer.  Paul who was received in some places with great love and appreciation and was met with great scorn and disdain in other places.  He had been beaten and persecuted and at the time that he wrote this particular letter Paul was in jail for preaching the gospel.  The winds of popularity blew hot and cold for Paul.  But because of his relationship with Christ Paul was not adversely affected by the shifting and changing of the winds.  In good times and bad times, in times of popularity and in times of persecution, in times of prosperity and in times of need, Paul was always able to stay positive and keep moving forward in faith.  Paul could do this because as he went on to say in his letter, he could do “all things through Christ who strengthened him.”

You cannot choose or change the winds that blow or the storms that come in this life.  You can however choose your response to the winds and storms you face.  You can choose to let Christ strengthen you.  He will be your Lord and Savior and He will sustain you, He will comfort you.  He will help you to move forward in beauty and grace no matter what circumstances you face.  Until next time, stay strong in the faith.

About pastorpstephens

I have been blessed to have served as a pastor, a chaplain and to have been involved in other ministries throughout the years. My wife Marta and I have been blessed with a wonderful family that includes our daughter, her husband and their two daughters and our son and his wife and their son. Each of them are very special to us so please keep them all in your prayers. One truth that I always try to share with people I meet is that anything God asks you to do, He will help you to do. God has your back.
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