Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Ready to Take a Cruise? Hold Onto the Captain of the Ship!

We’ve been asked if we’d ever like to take a cruise. I just don’t know. I love swimming, but really only where I can see the bottom and know I’m not in over my head. I am not sure I like the idea that I would be in a tiny floating town in 2 mile deep water. Cruising along with creatures that can eat you doesn’t make me feel safe at all. Probably the nearest thing to a ship I’ve ever been on is a houseboat and it was moored at the time. This is still a possibility and we will continue to think about it. 
I’m not known for my risky adventures. But there are some ships that I’ve traveled on – relationships, friendships, hardships to name a couple. Smooth sailing most of the time. With these three ships I’ve taken some huge risks. Some of the trips on these ships have required me to get out of my comfort zone. Some have been rocky trips, making me seasick with pain. 
To go on the friendship cruise you have to dare to be real and dare to love. This friendship cruise can last for years and years. Occasionally the trip is cut short through no fault of your own. Don’t quit loving, don’t quit being real. That ship has sailed but another one is coming again soon. This is a cruise you don’t have to take. It’s a choice. But the choice is worth it. Rich and rewarding can be the best words if you’re willing. 
Relationship cruises require complete honesty and total selflessness. Big words those both are. Honesty requires you to be authentic, candid and open with those closest to you. Selflessness simply means as the 70’s song said, “think a little more of others and a little less of me”. This cruise can last a lifetime if you go with someone who also wants to travel the world with you. Again, you can leave this one off your itinerary but for those who go it promises great rewards. Make sure you know all about this one before you go – you want to travel with like-minded people who will lift you up and not put you down; those who know the ropes and are willing to share their faith with you as you grow along the way.
The hardship cruise is one no sane person will sign up for ahead of time. Nope. It just shows up one day on your lawn of all things. It’s a rough, rough road to get to the seas that will prove to be choppy and dangerous. You’ll meet some interesting things on this cruise – adversity, lack, need, suffering, rejection. The entire trip is under hard conditions. No let up, no great stops along the way. Just the continual rocking of your heart and mind and spirit until you feel you can’t take another minute and you cry and try to jump ship. This trip is usually the most lonesome of trips for the people you met on the friendship and the relationship sometimes don’t want to go with you when you travel this way. 
You’ll need to carry supplies on all the ships you travel on. Hope – which is the conviction that the trip makes sense regardless of how it turns out. Peace – this will guard your heart and mind better than a Dramamine. The Word of God –you will have plenty of time to read and you will want to find the Truth regarding things you encounter along the way. 
God speaks to my heart: You don’t always get to choose which ship you are traveling on and when you can disembark. But you can always be sure that I AM going to be with you wherever you travel. You will never be totally alone because I AM your closest ally, your most worthwhile relationship and the Captain of even the roughest seas. You can travel in safety. You can trust the harbor. You can rejoice in the midst of it all as you look to Me for all your needs whether at home or away. I love you. So I will send you people to help for a season. I am with you, so I will give you relationships that will build your faith. I will let you go through hardships, knowing that you will grow stronger and more steadfast here than any other trip you take. Your trip is not your destination. I AM the one who travels before you to prepare you for everything you may need, not only along the way, but all the way to the moment you leave for heaven.
Oh beloved, let God lead you! He knows your past. He knows your present situation. He knows your future. His desire is that you let Him be the captain of your life so that no matter where you go, how you travel or what the conditions, you will learn to rely on Him more and more. The only place of true safety is in trusting in the Lord, relying on the Holy Spirit and living in the Light of His Word. God loves you and He’s for you. That’s why, no matter what ship you sail on, the Gospel Ship will be your best voyage ever as you learn to trust Jesus for the entire cruise.
Psalm 4:8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.
Isaiah 43:1 But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!
Proverbs 7:4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” And call understanding your intimate friend; 
Joshua 1:9 This is My command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. NLT

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