First, we are safe. For anyone new to our blog, we live aboard our boat some of the year, and we are currently headed South aboard her. As I sit to write this advent post about PEACE, things are not too peaceful aboard our boat. The best news is that none of our current problems put us in great danger, the boat is not sinking or in peril. The bad news is that we are encountering some rather large mechanical issues. We are aware of a stabilizer that is not working (A big deal when we go offshore as they steady the boat in rough seas), and we have a propeller shaft that is not right (which could create bigger issues if not addressed).
I know of all manner of ways to keep this in perspective: we pass sunken/damaged boats daily on the waterway, we are afloat, we have good weather, we are able to get to a marina safely, we have access to resources to help us, we are blessed to even have this boat, it is not a life or death thing…and so on and so on. Yet, when our boat is broken, it inevitably leads to a very unsettled state of mind. Visions of “where to go, what needs to be done, who can do it, how does it impact our cruising plan” soon overwhelm our thoughts. It is not the broken systems that are creating the lack of peace though…it is more the unsettledness of it all.
Unsettled…I let that sit for a bit in my head as we discussed our plan A, B, C for dealing with our situation. Blessed to have options, my heart still sank at the loss of our well-planned trip. The not knowing for certain what the next few days will look like, or how it will change in the next few weeks, is a powerful peace stealer. This last sentence makes me laugh as I realize the lack of peace I feel is NOT due to our broken boat. My lack of peace is due to feeling out of control of my situation. To be honest, this in not an uncommon battle for me.
I am sure it is not by accident that I was in the middle of writing this post when all this began to take place. As usual God was nudging me, not so gently, toward Him. Way too often I let my unsettled mind drift toward anxiety as I seek to wrestle my circumstance into my control. In little things, like boat issues, and huge things, like health/family/finances, God has always been in control. He has yelled loudly “I’ve got this!” in my life through Phil 4:6&7:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And a peace that surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
And yet, here I am…still allowing my peace to be stolen away by things of this world. Life does not always go as planned. While this time it is just a boat, I realize this is true for all our lives and in more impactful ways. Today I consider the PEACE we are given through Jesus Christ. He came to redeem us all and by grace, through his life, death and resurrection, we are reconciled to Him. In Him I can be forgiven of my sin, know His love and trust He is in control. This is a gift…peace in my heart that God still loves me even when I stumble, peace in my life even when the world goes wonky. He is greater than me and greater than the world.
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27
This week may we all know His peace…Let Him settle our hearts during unsettled times.