Week of July 24
In God We (Nearly) Trust
by Max Lucado
A few days before our wedding, Denalyn and I enjoyed and endured a sailing voyage. Milt, a Miami church friend, had invited Denalyn, her mom, and me to join him and a few others on a leisurely cruise along the Florida coast.
Initially it was just that. Leisure. We stretched out on cushions, hung feet over the side, caught some zzz’s and rays. Nice.
But then came the storm. The sky darkened, the rain started, and the flat ocean humped like a dragon’s neck. Sudden waves of water tilted the vessel up until we saw nothing but sky and then downward until we saw nothing but blue. I learned this about sailing: there is nothing swell about a swell. Tanning stopped. Napping ceased. Eyes turned first to the thunderclouds, then to the captain. We looked to Milt.
He was deliberate and decisive. He told some people where to sit, others what to do, and all of us to hang on. And we did what he said. Why? We knew he knew best. No one else knew the difference between starboard and stern. Only Milt did. We trusted him. We knew he knew.
And we knew we didn’t. Prior to the winds, we might have boasted about Boy Scout merit badges in sailing or bass-boat excursions. But once the storm hit, we shut up. (Except for Denalyn, who threw up.) We had no choice but to trust Milt. He knew what we didn’t—and he cared. The vessel was captained, not by a hireling or a stranger, but by a pal. Our safety mattered to him. So we trusted him.
Oh, that the choice were equally easy in life. Need I remind you about your westerly winds? With the speed of lightning and the force of a thunderclap, williwaws anger tranquil waters. Victims of sudden storms populate unemployment lines and ICU wards. You know the winds. You’ve felt the waves. Good-bye, smooth sailing. Hello, rough waters.
Such typhoons test our trust in the Captain. Does God know what he is doing? Can he get us out? Why did he allow the storm?
Can you say about God what I said about Milt?
I know God knows what’s best.
I know I don’t.
I know he cares.
Such words come easily when the water is calm. But when you’re looking at a wrecked car or a suspicious-looking mole, when war breaks out or thieves break in, do you trust him?
To embrace God’s sovereignty is to drink from the well of his lordship and make a sailboat-in-the-storm decision. Not in regard to Milt and the sea, but in regard to God and life. You look toward the Captain and resolve: he knows what’s best.
© (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2004) Max Lucado