I feel like a ship in dry dock. Last fall I was bounding along on my tour of duty when I got beached. My husband had emergency surgery while we were on the mission field, requiring a speedy voyage to the USA. The Lord has restored him to health, but other factors are keeping us ashore. The challenges of the situation are complex.
I’m uncomfortable having my hull away from the environment for which the Designer built me. I’m not able to navigate through the seas where I feel at home. I didn’t choose this change and it seems to make a mockery of my mission. Rather than my gifts and strengths being exercised for His glory, my flaws and weaknesses are being exposed to the world.
I wasn’t ashore long when I realized that what I thought might be a time of liberty was actually a planned refit. I did my best to relax into the refining the Lord had for me. At first I thought He was merely addressing my daily schedule and reorganizing my priorities. I did my best to lean into what felt like a steam cleaning and hoped my will was engaged.
Others would describe this American harbor as my homeport, but so many things have changed since we shipped out that I feel shrouded in fog. Previously familiar routines, such as making a store purchase or filling my car’s gas tank have changed. It’s more difficult to stay on course here than it was when I was in international waters.
The overhaul was going well until structural breaches were discovered. God revealed flaws in my basic makeup that needed to be repaired. It was hard to decide which was worse, the shock of the hideous discovery or the painful discipline process. It felt as if a metal grinder were being applied to my soul.
Thankfully the Designer reached down and led me to the Master Chart. He showed me the verses that describe the breadth and depth of His love. They reminded me of my worth as a heaven-bound vessel built in His image. I made my way through the steps of repentance and forgiveness. The Truth that He has a unique plan laid out for me restored my confidence.
The new year is an excellent opportunity to review the experiences of the past and focus our binoculars on the horizon. At this point my husband is healthy and we’re ready to ship out. When the orders arrive I want to be ready whatever the destination. The Designer is able. He knows and cares and He’s at the job of rehabilitation. Hallelujah.
Whether you and your ship are on the high seas or at anchor, in port or dry dock. I pray God’s richest blessings over us all in 2015 for His glory and our joy.
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19
Question to consider: How have you seen God “reconditioning” you this past year?
About the author
I rejoice in the goodness of the LORD who continues to use me internationally through the ministry of Lifework Forum. I inform, affirm, and inspire women at my blog, and speak to audiences wherever I’m invited. My current writing project is a book about Na’omi’s years in Mo’av.View all articles by: Sandra Lovelace
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