In the Boathouse

I love driving through the countryside of southeast Alabama.  It’s a land of gentle, rolling hills, and vast fields — this time of year either white with cotton, or being home to cattle grazing.  Rivers run through the land, and fish-filled lakes and ponds are numerous.

It was a particular lake that caught my attention this week.  The weather forecast on the radio warned of possible, icy rains, winds, and a drop in temperature below freezing.  The very sound of it all made me want to get home quick, make some hot chocolate, and watch the weather from the cozy warmth of my mother’s home where I am enjoying the holidays with her.

I noticed a small lake in the distance.  A dock went out across the water about thirty feet.  At the end of the dock there was a boathouse.  As I drove by, glancing at the lake and the dock, I could see that a boat was secured in the boathouse.  Good, I thought to myself, no boat needs to be out on the water in this weather.  It was at that precise moment that Psalm 46:1 popped into my mind:

“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.”

As we go through life, we’re like boats sailing on the sea of life.  Sometimes the weather permits smooth sailing but at other times we need to put our boat in shelter; we need protection in rough water.  We need a covering.  It’s clear what we need to do, so why do we fail to put our boat in safety?

What do we do when stresses of life rock our boat?  Do we simply stare at the darkening skies, speculating with dread at what the storm will bring? Do we cling with all our might to the sides of the boat, fearful, lest we fall overboard?  Sadly, we must all answer, that at times, yes, we ignore the boathouse that is staring us in the face, and we go it alone.  We’re exhausted in our stress, but stubbornly, we hang on in our own strength, which only adds to our already weary mind and body.

Our life’s guidebook, God’s own Word, clearly tells us that He is our refuge; He is our strength.  The very moment that stresses of life cause our boat to roll and pitch with uncertainty, weariness, and dread — that’s the moment we need to row toward the boathouse.  Almighty God Himself is our shelter in any storm.  He is our strength in all weather.

We don’t have to rock back and forth, wondering if we will drown — we have a boathouse.  Jesus reminded his disciples of this when he said to them in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”   Jesus loves being your boathouse.  Won’t you let Him shelter you in the storm?

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