Obey anyway… What to do when life just doesn’t make sense.

A sailboat on a calm, windless ocean.  Within the boat sits a man and a woman.  He, at the front, is fiddling with something in his hands while she sits in the middle wondering how long they’ll drift.  Meanwhile, she’s enjoying the sunshine and the dolphins playing nearby while she waits.

The scene shifts.  Water splashes at her feet, and she realizes the boat has sprung a leak. Frantic, she looks to the man.  Why is he still fiddling?  Doesn’t he recognize the emergency?  The adrenaline rushes.  Her survival instincts scream at her, “You can’t just sit there in a sinking boat.  Do something.  Stop the leak.  Jump.  Swim.  Do.  Something.”sailboat grounded

Ahead, she hears the teacher’s calm authoritative voice instructing her over the chaos, “Stay in the boat and watch.  I’m teaching him how to sail.”  She argued, “But there’s no wind and the boat is sinking!”  The teacher handed her a cup, “If you need something to do with your hands, dip water out of the boat. Watch Me.”

It was a dream.

The boat is our life together.  Learning to sail – my husband learning to navigate the new normal of life after so much loss.  The water – overwhelming circumstances threatening to sink us.  The cup – my too small paycheck.  The Teacher – Jesus.

In this Advent season, I’m studying Joseph, his character in a difficult, heart-shattering shift of events in his personal life.  Common sense had to be wrestling with his heart. How could Mary be pregnant?

In the midst of the turmoil, Joseph relied on the wisdom of his cultural upbringing to come to a conclusion regarding Mary.  He would have to do the hard thing and send her away.  But just then, God sent a calm authoritative voice to instruct Joseph through the chaos.  In a dream, he heard,

“Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because He will save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:20-21, NIV)

God’s direction made clear, Joseph chose to obey.  The Teacher’s instructions to me are clear.  I will obey.

Father, daily I come to You and ask Your help to obey.  I want to keep my eyes on Jesus and follow where You lead, but You know my tendency to wander.  Train me, secure me, and remind me in Your calm commanding voice to stay. in. the. boat.  Thank You, Father, for loving all Your children so much, and for having the best ideas for peace in our circumstances.  Thank You for teaching me to dwell in Your presence… may we all who are Your children desire most to dwell in Your presence and bring others to get to know You in Your dwelling place of glory.  Make us shine for You today because we’ve been with You.  Amen!

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I have the honor and privilege of writing weekly devotionals for Daughter of Delight on Instagram.  This post with some slight variation was first posted as an original devotional for Daughter of Delight on Instagram – 12/16/2017.

I invite you to please take a moment to visit @daughterofdelight on Instagram.  I feel certain you’ll be encouraged and refreshed!


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