The picture of a boat secured snuggly to its dock with the ever familiar saying attached to it that expresses, “a ship is safe in port but that’s not what ships were built for” has always seemed a little wrong to me. It came across my search feed again the other day and it finally hit me just why it has always been a little off in my spirit. Boats are NOT safe in port. The only time they are safe at the dock is when the sea is smooth and there are no storms on the horizon. With any impending threat of an approaching major storm all good captains know that the safest place for their precious cargo is dead in the middle of the winds and pointed straight into the waves. They do not run away from it because it will lead them somewhere they did not intend to go. They do not leave the helm and just sit and let the storm do as it pleases without minding where it drifts their boat to. They do not anchor down and hold on because experience has taught them that will cause them to be up-ended or turned over. And they certainly do not tie off securely in port because if they do, the ship will be beaten against the dock over and over again until it breaks and is destroyed. No, they pull up anchor, leave port, and push out into the storm. They steer sometimes for hours into heavy winds and waves that crash down over them time and again. The ship is tossed and it is rocked but when the storm is over, other than being a little water logged, and the crew somewhat fatigued, it is safe and unharmed.
In life it is this way… We so many times try to run away from our storms or leave the helm and we always end up somewhere we are not meant to be. We try to anchor down and hold on in our own strength but that just leaves our world overturned and us drowning. We always choose the safest option last because it is the most unreasonable and the most frightening to our human nature, to our flesh. Our brain screams “are you crazy???” Yet God, the most experienced of all Captains, keeps nudging us gently in our Spirits to allow Him to turn our ship straight into the worst of the winds and waves and face them head on. It really is the only way. It is the only safe way for you, your ship(destiny), and your cargo(those that are going with you). If you stay in port during your worst of times you are going to get beaten until you are broken and sometimes even destroyed beyond repair. The next time something unbelievably terrifying is looming over your horizon, don’t run, don’t buckle down, don’t leave the helm, don’t stay tied at the dock. This time, untie the ropes, turn the bow of your ship headward, batton down the hatches, and no matter how fearful you are, no matter how high the waves get or how loud and hard the winds howl, DO NOT turn back or you will be consumed. Keep pressing forward. Eventually He will cry out for the seas to obey Him and your calm will come and you will not only be victorious but so much the better for it. Your crew will thank you. The storm is only temporary. Victory is eternal.
Nicole R. Bryan