Life is either a drought or a storm. Life can either have absolutely nothing happening or everything happening at once. I’m not sure what this rule is, or whether it comes under the category of Murphy’s Law, but it seems to be more and more the case.
For many friends of mine at the moment, it is not simply a case of one thing causing them stress in their lives, but it seems to be a full barrage of events and circumstances. From heartbreak to illness to work stress to family worries to financial uncertainty, there is much anxiety about what the future may hold.
These stresses can overwhelm to the point where it is hard to focus on anything else – to the point where it is hard to see daylight in the midst of all the darkness.
The Eugene Peterson quote above is the shortened version. The full quote reads: “All the water in the oceans cannot sink a ship unless it gets inside. Nor can all the trouble in the world harm us unless it gets within us.”. He uses the beautiful metaphor of the ocean to represent what life may throw at us. The truth is, water is powerful, persistent, and unyielding. Oceans can be calm or wild, gentle or stormy – yet ships can sail on through it all. Ships get battered by the winds and the rain, tossed around by the waves – yet the only thing that will sink them is if the water gets inside.
To my friends – keep on sailing. Sail on through the stormy waters, knowing that your ship is strong enough to withstand what is happening. Sail on through the smooth waters, knowing your ship will remain steadfast and true. The ocean of life may throw everything it has at you at times, but calmer waters are coming – do not let the water get inside. In the same way – get upset, be frustrated, angry with the lot that life has dealt you. But, do not set up camp and stay there. You are stronger than you think – strong enough to see this through to the other side.
Your ship is strong enough to weather the storm.