The ways of the world are almost always in direct contrast to the ways of the Lord. The world preaches that we are to be our own captain, forge our own way, and make choices based on what feels good in the moment. The way of the Lord, however, often directs us to wait upon the Lord for instruction.
Here below I have shared with you one of the most profound stories the Lord has ever given to me to write down. It holds in it a lesson that changed my heart forever.
She sat in the small sailboat all by herself in the middle of the ocean. All was still; the boat aimlessly slid upon the motionless water. Not even a slight breeze flew by. She peered upward, looking at the sail that hung limp. The sound she had grown familiar with began to build again. She stood to watch as yet another group of boats whirled past her; these boats flew past her as the drivers guided their motors. Waving and smiling at the other boatmen, she shouted encouragement as they went on their way past her. When they had all passed, she sat back down. Her small boat finally found some movement as it rocked on the newly formed waves.
There she was. Still. Discouragement never missed a chance to remind her of her lack of movement. She wobbled to the stern of her small boat and scanned the horizon. Frustration and disappointment joined her. Throwing her arms up with emotion, she yelled out, “I want to fly God! I want to fly, but here I sit. No direction! No goal! No purpose! You know, God! YOU KNOW. You know that if I just had a goal, a purpose, I would do anything it takes!”
“Ana?” she heard a missed voice say.
“Yes, Papa?” she asked apprehensively.
“What is it that others have on their boats?”
“I never gave them a motor. They traded their sails in for a motor. They may be getting places, but they will never know if that is where I meant for them to go. You, however, will only go when I desire you to, and only in the direction I desire. That is how I desire it to be for all my children. Keep your sail. When I want you to go, I’ll send My Wind.”
Three weeks passed. Still Ana sat in her boat. Still she waved and smiled as other boats passed. But still the wind evaded her. For three weeks Ana continued to wait, trusting what her Father had said. But on this day, as more boats then ever flew past her, she broke. Curling up on the bottom of the boat, she wept. Sobs shook her burning chest. Sorrow clenched tightly around her throat. Tears fell, painting the dark wood of the sailboat bed. She wept until she had emptied the deep recesses of her soul. Eventually, her breathing began to steady.
As she lay there curled up on the bottom of the boat, she realized the hum of motors had ceased. In its place a sound she did not recognize began to hum. She stood and peered northward straining to see what could be coming. Almost in a whisper, Ana heard, “The Wind has come.” Before she could even comprehend what had been spoken, strong winds came and began whipping around her head as if a whirlwind surrounded her boat. As her hair whipped around her head, Ana spread out her arms and laughed with great joy. The sail whipped violently in the wind as it was pushed open by the strong arm of The Wind. Ana took a firm stance as her boat shot across the waters. She could not stop laughing as she stood at the helm, arms open wide, laughing, and shouting, “The Wind has come! The Wind has come!”
Her boat soared across the ocean into unknown waters. No boats could be seen on these parts. It was just Ana.
The Wind took her to a harbor. It was peaceful and empty. Her boat came to sit at the mouth of the harbor. She stood, catching her breath as she looked out into the vastness of where she had just come. Ana was laughing when out of the corner of her eye she saw great shadows move in.
The shadows belonged to massive ships that drew close to the mouth of the harbor where Ana’s boat had come to rest. Ana peered up from her tiny sailboat as one of the ships neared hers. Ana somehow understood that this harbor was under her authority. The men on the large boat began to hurl insults at her, telling her to get out of the way so they could come and dock. Instead of complying, Ana yelled, “This harbor is the Lord’s! He alone is King here. You may not dock here. You have no business here, move on.”
The men on the boat cursed at her but Ana was unmoved. They turned their ships and continued on past the harbor.
This was the Lord’s harbor, the harbor He entrusted to Ana.
Who are we being led by? Are we trading in our sail for a motor that we ourselves can steer? Perhaps you find yourself as Ana, sitting idly waiting for something more. Or perhaps you have been given your harbor and stand at the decision of who to let in?
Whichever season you find yourself, press in to the Lord. Seek His wisdom, His leading. May our prayer be like that of David’s:
“Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.” Psalm 25:4-5
The Lord is trustworthy, dear friend. He will not lead you astray. When you feel as though all hope is lost, you’ve strayed too far away, as though all have succeeded except you, as though you have been forgotten and left behind, remember that night is darkest right before dawn. The Lord has not abandoned or forgotten you. You are not out of reach. Only trust. Trust that He knows what He is doing. Only be ready. Be willing.
The Wind is coming.
“Be strong and courageous.Do not fear or be in dread… for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11