From stormy seas to solid land...
By Bobby Schuller, Crystal Cathedral Pastor
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
I remember being seasick, which is the most horrible, awful feeling. I actually went with the youth pastor of this church on a fishing trip. My dad took us. And at four in the morning, from this greasy-looking cook on this big, smelly fishing boat that was going out to sea for several days, I ordered a double bacon cheeseburger and fries. So, at four in the morning, I had this brick in my gut, and we were heading out to sea for two days.
During the whole trip, we experienced nothing but torrential seas, and I remained curled up in a ball on my bed. It was one of the only times in life I really wanted to die. If someone had entered into this little room where I was sleeping on a bunk above a room filled with sick people, and someone said, "Here's a big-gulp-sized glass of hemlock; enjoy your freedom," I would have been seriously tempted to poison myself.
But I wouldn't have, obviously. Even though it was a horrible feeling and I was ready to check out, I wouldn't have done that. Why? Because I knew about land. I knew land was coming! I knew there was a harbor and that someday, sometime this boat would pull into a harbor, the waves would stop, I would get off the boat, and I would feel fine again.
However, if there was no land to look forward to, and I was stuck on this boat, and that was going to be my new reality, I don't know how I could have carried on. It's the hope that land is coming that keeps us, in the midst of suffering, from falling into utter despair, from quitting on life, or just giving up. It's knowing that land is coming. That's what hope is!
Without hope, without the knowledge of land, without the knowledge that someday, something will change, or at least have that firm foundation that things can get better, then forget it. You'll fall into despair. That's how many of us feel - stuck on a boat, seasick - for years. My hope is to give you hope. And that land is coming. Our solid rock, our God, gives us hope to endure.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for being there in the midst of my turmoil, my insecurity, my pain. You are my secure place in a world of unknown futures and painful moments. In you, I trust. Because of you, I have hope. Amen.
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