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Am I Secure For Sea?

Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight” (NASB).

Earlier this week, my husband and I created nylon button snaps to attach to furniture in the kids’ room of the RV.

These nylon straps would help keep toys and books on their respective shelves when the RV moves. It was a project that brought me back to the eight years I worked and lived aboard U.S. Navy aircraft carriers.

Before getting a carrier underway, preparations had to be made to secure all items for the rolling, tossing sea. Anything not secure could kill or injure personnel. Departmental leadership would walk the ship and look for things overlooked or underestimated by junior personnel and order attention to them. Multi-million-dollar Navy aircraft were always strapped to pad eyes on the decking when not in use.

Most of the time, the weight of the aircraft carrier made days aboard the sea very smooth. On occasion, rough storms would cause such movement that the captain would close all decks, from the flight deck to the weather decks, where Sailors could normally walk to get fresh air outside. I recall the hour before one such announcement from the captain during my earliest years in the Navy. Out of curiosity, I had gone up to the flight deck to see the stormy seas, and it quite took my breath away, giant waves crashing onto a deck that generally stood about 60 feet above the waterline.

I’ve often looked at the spiritual implications of a practice like securing for sea. It has been helpful to apply the same attention to the condition of my soul. What areas in my life might Satan rock my figurative boat, and how can I prepare my response in advance? You might think it is silly to prepare your response to hardship in advance, but like we also say in the Navy, you train how you fight. This means that the way I practice responding to hardship is a good indicator of how I will react to adversity when it comes.

Proverbs 3:5-6 tell us to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” (NASB) It then leads into verse 24, where it assures, “when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet” (NIV).

That verse was written well in advance of the disciples’ experience on the treacherous waters with Jesus, and while it didn’t seem to come to mind to them, it was certainly practiced by Jesus himself. The disciples, in full-on panic mode, went running to their sleeping Teacher, yelling, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” (Matthew 8:25, NASB)

It is innate in all of us to lean on what we understand and can control. It is the opposite of what He wants. We can worry and fret for the hour when the captain says, “Stand by for heavy rolls,” or we can rest assured that we have done those things He laid on our hearts and trust Him for our security.


Prayer: “Dear Lord, show me where my trust falters and lead me into greater faith. I know You are in control despite my circumstances. I will follow You and wait on Your glory to be revealed in my circumstances. Amen.”

Your turn: Trusting in the Lord isn’t a one-time exercise. It is a conscious choice to submit our understanding of the events of His sovereignty and goodness.

What storm are you facing today? What storm are you afraid may come?


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