2. A boat divided will sink

2020, I believe will go down in history as one of the most difficult years of a lifetime. Hopefully, in the future, many people will also remember that 2020 was the year of their greatest growth. Much good can arise out of painful and unwelcome circumstances. I know because I’ve witnessed this truth in my personal life.

And I believe I’ve earned the right to state matter-of-factly, MUCH GOOD can come from great pain.

For some the slow down has been a needed time out, which admittedly most of us would not have taken voluntarily. Truly, we are quite unaware of how fast we’re spinning because everyone around our orbit is spinning as fast or faster.

For others, wounds yet to be dealt with have surfaced and have become unmanageable. The stress and fear of uncertain times have caused the unhealthy coping mechanisms to spin completely out of control. The festering infection must be dealt with before it becomes fatal. That’s not drama. It’s just TRUE!

Hopefully, down the road, individuals, couples and yes, even whole families will be able to mark this time as one of healing, repentance and reconciliation.

What is becoming blatantly obvious, as many of us venture out into the public square, is that people are divided. The new normal doesn’t feel normal or good. On every side of every issue we’re wondering who is right and who is wrong. Who’s to blame and who will fix this mess. Everyone is feeling the raw hurt and loss of most everything normal and secure – even if it was false security.

When my dear man and I first stepped into our boat with Jesus, it felt much more like an exciting adventure ahead. Admittedly, we had some trepidation, and some honest questions. Yet, we were willing to step into another unknown, and in the end we would be glad. We knew that times on the boat {learning to sail} might prove challenging, but adventure with Jesus has always brought us growth, strength and deeper intimacy.

Because we had previously lived through some deeply trying times in career, church and family life we stepped into our training boat with confidence in our Teacher. He’s been our Teacher for a long, long time, and He’s never steered us wrong. Never! Still, it didn’t take long for us to realize that Jesus had determined we were now ready for the advanced training course.

May I state for the record, once again, our trust in Him as Teacher and our confidence in ourselves and each other has been severely tested.

The wounds in our very human hearts have again been laid bare as we began to spend many more hours in a day together. I had grown accustomed to my cherished quiet hours in the house alone before my dear man walked through the door from work. That was my time to putter, relax, listen to music, pray, read and process my day. Okay, let me just be honest, I simply liked being able to do whatever I wanted to do – alone. I cherished ‘me time’.

Suddenly, we were both home. Together. Alot. No more quiet alone time. I bristled at the loss of ‘me’ time and the invasion of ‘my’ space.

He didn’t want to be home either. My dear man had never planned to retire. Work was his passion and pastime. He was resentful of his lack of work, and was frustrated with the huge gap of time needing to be filled with productivity from morning to evening.

Realization set in as we tried to balance ourselves in the boat of our new normal. Neither of us were happy. None satisfied. I was working outside our home, which was all he longed for. And he was doing what my heart desired; staying home. Like seasick sailors we were topsy turvy and nothing seemed to settle the rocking. We struggled desperately to find the calm.

We were in the boat together. For better. For worse. For richer. For poorer. In health. In distress. With Parkinson’s. Without career. Missing the main income. We had stepped into the boat together and neither of us knew how to sail.

Our differences seemed exaggerated as time in the boat droned on day after training day without so much as a breeze to lift our sails. Too many times I allowed my insecurities to control my emotions. I pointed a finger in his direction and demanded to know when he was going to learn to sail so that we could get moving again.

I knew I was wrong. The hurt in my dear man’s eyes pierced my conscience, but the empathy in Jesus’ eyes over our broken humanity pierced my heart. I confessed my wrong. I was forgiven. Yet, I didn’t know how to resolve the helpless feelings of being adrift on the open ocean with a person who didn’t know how to sail.

Many times on certain days I completely lost sight of the fact that our Teacher was in the boat with us. He wasn’t going to let us sink. Or would He?

I cried out to God for help. We had already overcome some major marital hurdles and I didn’t want to fail this current test of oneness. Our boat was divided. And this lack of unity, we knew all too well, had the power to destroy even the most committed souls.

Jesus. Help!

He did. He reminded me to seek His face. He gave me a hunger for His word in which He reminded me to confess what is true, forgive what hurts, and love like He loves me.

We weren’t getting out of this boat any time soon it appeared quite obvious. So we needed to find ways to communicate, design rules of fair play and negotiate together the rhythm that would keep us afloat.

Now as I look at the condition of our western society trying to crawl out of a pandemic and all but total economic shutdown, I remember our personal learning curve. The ways our country has fractured and split in this year of 2020 are too numerous now to even count. We’ve fallen off the cliff of simply being divided down the middle of red or blue. We’ve splintered as a society into innumerable beliefs, thoughts, values and judgments.

What will keep us from self destruction as a society? A boat divided will sink.

All I know to do for our country, our state, and our local community in the turbulence is to cry out…

Jesus. Help!

You might think me a simpleton. A Pollyanna. You might think me ridiculous and you might not come back to read my words. That’s okay.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.
Psalms 107:31‭-‬32 NIV

I know what I’ve experienced is true. Jesus has always been faithful when I’ve been eager to give up. He’s always had answers to my questions and He’s always had solutions to my problems.

I’m asking for Jesus to help us, as people He created, to be patient with one another, to forgive readily and to be kind. I’m asking Him to have mercy on us and to teach us to be merciful toward others. I’m asking Him to open our eyes to His goodness and generosity, which will surely cause us to reflect His goodness and generosity to others.

Jesus. Teacher in the boat. He’s been teaching us to sail together, my dear man and myself. He’s teaching us how to sail and not sink. Guess what? Five years into training, we’re really getting the hang of it.

Yes, five years. Training takes time, especially for us slow learners.

I know our Teacher will do it for you too. I believe Jesus will show Himself faithful to you and your household. I feel sure He will step into your boat. He’ll stay with you even when you’re not sure whether He will let you sink.

So, what will you do? How about crying out?

Jesus. Help!

~Lisa


4 thoughts on “2. A boat divided will sink

  1. I love your honest vulnerable heart. I’m grateful we get to sail in the same bay of life! Love you! J

    Sent from my iPhone

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    1. It feels wonderful to be released to write again, but from a repaired and restored place. Thank you for reading my words. I hope you are greatly encouraged by Jesus today!

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  2. There’s too much to say here. Too much at work in me to say but HS message through you resonates in my spirit. Thank you 🔥😭💥❤️👍
    Ruth
    With joy and peace in believing…

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    1. Thank you for coming over to read my words. I am truly grateful Holy Spirit is using our story and His Word to help you process your story. You have a beautiful story, Ruthie!

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