Me Keeping Me in the Boat

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20–21)

“Sovereign in my greatest joy, Sovereign in my deepest cry, with me in the dark…” “All my fears, all my dreams: held in your hands… ” In your everlasting arms, all the pieces of my life from beginning to end, I can trust in you… .”
“…God whatever comes my way, God I trust in you… ” from Chris Tomlin’s new song, Sovereign, brings tears as I unplug to spend time with Heavenly Dad. For three weeks this song has been pressing on my heart. I replay it over and over as with each play the meaning of a few more words penetrates the thick layers. I haven’t known what to do with this.

Eric and I are back from our adventure. As with all of you, life continued on the ship even when we tried to step away from realities and pressures. There were mountain top highs and deep valley lows, sometimes all in the same day, on our travels. Sovereign is the perfect description of my (our) Heavenly Father in the midst of every moment: supreme, absolute, unlimited, unrestricted, unrestrained, unbounded, boundless, infinite, ultimate, total, unconditional, to name a few.

To be honest, most of the stresses hit the night before we left and I didn’t think I wanted to sail away. I had been dotting my “i’s” and crossing my “t’s” for weeks and feared I had missed some. Then there was the stresses of flights, the hotel connection that was technically after their hours so I had a verbal commitment that they would accommodate–“but what if they don’t?” haunted me. The “rats getting on a ship” feeling when boarding, as I remembered the last time I cruised, the chaos, was an overwhelming stress. In addition, Eric is stretching himself as leadership is a new venture for him and I was used to being led. I’ve done this traveling thing but as the travel agent/tourist to this degree? It’s been close to ten years and never have I had the amount of other responsibilities. I was grouchy, overwhelmed, and tired in my soul. I wanted to cry. I probably did.

By the grace of Heavenly Dad, we did make it out the door and hit all of our connections, with delays, but plenty of cushion. We made it through the boarding process, found the deck to wait for the rooms where hot coffee and lunch were waiting (notice the sequence, referencing importance). When we were released to and found our cabin, our luggage was outside the door. We entered, put down our bags and I could collapse on the bed, grateful. No worries about cooking, cleaning, driving, the fury kids (Taylor and Kristian dog sat) or working (limited internet) for 7 days. Sigh. It took the entire rest of the first afternoon and part of the next sailing day to decompress and feel like a vacation was “allowed.” I could finally see the blessing. I will always be grateful for that opportunity.

Now it’s back to reality. The challenge of this verse in my time with Heavenly Dad is awesome. He has this crazy sense of humor in that one of my devotions with Him was about Peter in the boat. He stepped out in faith and walked on water, keeping his eyes on Jesus. When fear crept in and his attention shifted from Jesus to the bad weather and waves, he began to sink. Our cruise/Peter’s boat: him getting out, me getting in. Do you see the connection? Then there was me getting totally over whelmed with the circumstances around me and missing the fact that this trip was not for me to control. Heavenly Dad is sovereign, knew what we needed and controls time. I had nothing to worry about but I was sinking in the reliance of my own feeble abilities or lack there of.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20–21) was a reminder that Heavenly Dad can do more than whatever I think I need.

The next devotional, sometimes I get on a roll and am starving for insight, was Proverbs 16:1-9. I was challenged about what “living the dream” means to me, what my dreams even are but especially the motives behind the dreams. It was a reminder that the dreams of my heart (the unselfish ones) were placed there by Heavenly Dad and He LONGS to give them to me. Crazy, again, right? Another glimpse of Heavenly Dad’s sense of humor.

In John 10:10 Jesus said, “I have come that they may have abundant life, and that they may have it more abundantly” That’s not crumbs or morsels of the pie of life. “Abundant life” sounds like SLICES of pie or an ENTIRE pie, doesn’t it? This all goes back to motives and if the desires match with what He has created me to do and be.

In my puny mind I combine the lessons and review. The nuggets for today: stepping out of the boat in faith (doing the impossible), keeping my eyes on Jesus and not on situations swirling around me, motives, desires of my heart, Heavenly Dad’s desire for my abundant life. Then the question: What is keeping me in the boat? Me

What is keeping you in your boat from experiencing the impossible and receiving the desires of your heart that Heavenly Dad is chomping at the bit to give YOU?

YIKES! We have a story we are in the middle-ish of! Eric: Job-check, Girl-check, selling his house-check, place to live in IN-ummmm.

Eric and I agreed that he could live in the unfinished little house rent free for a month and he would help me work on it during January. December 30ish, he rented a truck and with the help of his brother Nate, we loaded his belongings and the only life he knew, in Michigan, and Taylor and Kristian helped unload them into the tiny house in Goshen, IN.

Unfortunately, Heavenly Dad had a completely different plan for the month of January, but that is for another day.

Until next time: Blessings!

Author: Tracy Cook

Widowed one week before our 27th wedding anniversary, Heavenly Dad continues to carry me, now blessing me with a second chance for love.

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