Harnessing Difficulties

Last week we were on a cruise in the Bahamas with my dad. While sitting on the beach in Nassau, he spied a couple catamaran sailboats that people were using to go out into the ocean a little ways. He talked with one of the guys and was able to work out a deal for us to take one out for an hour. The problem is, none of us had ever operated a sailboat before. But no worries, the guy gave us some quick instructions and we were off - at least, off the land. We were, however, drifting directly into the swimming area. After nearly running over someone, the sail began to fill with the wind push us out to open water! Over the next sixty minutes, we learned how to tighten and loosen the sail so that the wind would propel us any way we wanted to go - even into the wind! It boggles my mind, but there's something magical about harnessing this powerful force of nature and allowing it to propel you.

Often, we look at wind as a negative thing. We think of the winds of strife and imagine our lives battered and tossed around by them. However, as we were sailing, I saw that the wind can be harnessed and used for good, even when it was pointing in a direction we didn't want to go. The Apostle Paul was sitting in a prison cell, writing a letter to the believers in Philippi. Many people would have been discouraged and disheartened to be in his situation, yet he confidently proclaimed that he was content in all circumstances, finishing his statement with, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). Through Christ, we can harness the difficulties that come our way and allow them to propel us forward. What an incredible God we serve!