In one of my walks along the Riverwalk in my hometown, I came across a set of docks that were roped off and locked up tight. There was a sign “Danger, Keep out” on the locked chain link fence door. I stood back and took it in.
The docks were still standing but they sure did look in need of some major repairs. They were still floating and the crash of the small river waves showed their resilience to the force against them. Not a pretty sight, but they were still hanging in there.
I called a friend who knows a lot about the properties along the river. He told me the docks had taken a beating in a recent storm and the owner was waiting on repairs before they could be used again.
I live in Jacksonville, Florida and our last hurricane season was a “doozie!” Our downtown was flooded — which is unheard of. Damages were extensive and we are still reeling from the effects of that water damage. I was not surprised when I heard these worn out docks were a byproduct of Hurricane Irma.
As I walked back to my condo, I thought of those docks in relationship to many of the storms that hit us out of nowhere. How many times have you received an unexpected phone call that rocked your world? Or a bill that came out of nowhere? An accident that changed your life? A business decision that almost took your business down?
We’ve all had our storms and we’ve maybe even named them such as Hurricane Divorce, Hurricane Death or Hurricane Drugs. Some of us weather those storms better than others. And we wonder why this person was able to weather the storm better than this other person.
I contemplated my own personal storms and I’ll not bore you with their names but I will give glory to the One who helped me weather them. My beloved, Jesus.
Jesus — the name above all names. The One who was sent to this earth by the One who made this earth — and the foundations of the world. The One who held me up, steadied my arms, walked with me through the valley and sometimes carried me through the fire. The One who never left me even when the storm was fierce and was beating me to a pulp. The One who held my head up as the waters rose to drown me in despair. The One who still, today, walks with me and laughs with (and at) me as I attempt to regain my purpose and place in this world.
You see my friends…when the storms come – sometimes you are being redirected to a new place, a new structure or a renewed vision for your life. And there are times we want to go out there on those old, worn out docks and say to the One, “I’m not moving. I like it here. I want to be a dock, right here for the rest of my life. I feel comfortable here. I feel safe.”
And then…that place of safety and comfort suddenly starts rocking you again and you realize the boards beneath your feet are not stable and may throw you back into the water AGAIN.
The One who loves you doesn’t want to see you do that. He wants to rescue you and He will but…He also lets us have our free will because He’s good like that. He doesn’t demand that you do what He wants. He wants you to want what’s good for you — and He knows best what is good for you!
How many times have you run back to the rotting wood of your life instead of burning it up and rebuilding something better? And how much better was it when you left the rot and reclaimed a better life?
Maybe this is too much pondering for the beginning of the week and I apologize if it is. I just write what I feel at the moment and this seemed like the right one for the day.
I leave you with this. If your foundation of life is centered on the One who created you, this Psalm can lead you quietly to your desired place in this world:
Yet when they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, the Lord brought them out of their distress. He calmed the storm and its waves quieted down. So they rejoiced that the waves became quiet, and he led them to their desired haven.
If your dock is rocking today and you feel you are falling, call out to Jesus and speak to Him. He’s really good at listening. And if you need someone to talk to, give me a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m a good listener too and would love to hear from you. Sometimes you need people with skin on to hear your fears — and boy oh boy do I understand that! I had many friends and family members with skin on who stood alongside the One to help me weather my storms.
Here’s another tip. Get your foundation right before you build anything. That’s true in building buildings and building businesses and building people. That’s what holds everything up when it gets rough out there!
Have a wonderful, rocking week filled with quiet reflection on the One who LOVES you deeply – and the One who laid the foundations of this big, round, globe floating in the heavens.
Love, peace, out… Billie