Posted in Family, friends, Grace, gratitude, life, love, loving others, priorities, sovereignty of God, thankful, travel, wisdom

The Captain and the Wind

Oh, Lord God! You Yourself made the heavens and earth by Your great power and with Your outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for You!” Jeremiah 32:17

It was the gift of a lifetime. It was 1997 and we were experiencing the gift of a lifetime—the trip of a lifetime. The church where we pastored had honored us with a massive trip to the Holy Land in celebration of our tenth anniversary as their pastor.  I’ve shared some of those incredible times once or twice before in Grits. Recently though I was reminded of a part of the trip that was a small part of a big story and teaches a powerful lesson about us and God.

After a quick visit to Greece and a long visit to the Holy Land, we found ourselves in the land of Pharaohs.  How incredible to stand where the children of Israel once slaved and worked.  How amazing to stand where Moses stood as he spoke for the great, “I AM,” and spoke the words on behalf of God, “Let My people go.”  The pyramids, the great sphinx, the museums, the history all were breathtaking and then there was—the Nile.

Though my wife Judy and I have now seen and been on the Nile several times…back then it was the first time…and there’s nothing like the first time.  As part of our trip, we took a day trip on this ancient and mighty river.  There were all kinds of vessels on the river that day from small to very large, from very old to newer and from those powered by sails and those powered by massive engines.

Ours was powered by diesel.  As we prepared to leave the port, the captain of the vessel fired up the engines and soon we were underway.  With the powerful engine, the vessel went in the direction and speed that the captain desired.  It was impressive but there was something else there on the river that was equally so.  All around us were boats not powered by gas or diesel but by the wind.  Silently and gracefully, they cut through the water…not as fast as others but somehow more impressive…more desirable.

What was it that was so attractive?  It was the fact that they did not depend on their own power—they depended on a power outside of themselves—bigger than themselves.  They moved at a pace and the whim of the wind. Oh, there was a human hand on the rudder and there was skill in the positioning of the sail but still it was the wind that moved the boat. And, unlike our vessel, the captain and crew never had to worry about breaking down or running out of fuel.  And somehow, that just seemed better…richer.

I read a devotion by a guy named Aussie Dave (you have to love that name) that pointed out this vast difference.  And I learned that it wasn’t about boats at all…it was about us…and our lives…and how we choose to live our lives.  Oh, we can motor along through life, seemingly controlling our fate, our direction, our speed, and all that might work, will work, until the engine breaks down or we run out of fuel. And, trust me, there will be a time in life when both will happen and it is just about then we will realize the value of trusting something bigger, Someone bigger, with our journey. That, of course, is Creator God—the One who created it all—including the wind.

If I’m guessing right, a lot of us wrestle with letting the Creator of the wind propel our vessels…our lives.  We simply want to be in charge…to determine the direction and details of our trip but remember this.  Along the shores of Nile were abandoned vessels…broken down and wore down and long abandoned. And while there may have been a few sailing vessels along that same shore, they were always a candidate to be rebuilt—to be redeemed and that too is the story of those who trust in a Captain that made it all. With this Captain…nothing is impossible.

Judy and I will never forget that journey or the people who made it possible. It was a generous and sacrificial gift given from our friend’s hearts.  We will also never forget the generous and sacrificial gift of our Dearest Daddy who makes life, our lives, so rich and purposeful and our eternity so…well, sometimes there just aren’t words.  I hope you have chosen God as your Captain and I hope you will pause even now and listen.  Even when the wind goes still and your progress so slow, listen carefully as the Whisperer whispers, “I’ve got this.”  Bro. Dewayne


Southern born. Love God, my wife, family, and a great adventure.

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