Sunday, May 27, 2012

Treasure the Small Harbors God Provides

“He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.  They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven” (Psalm 107:29, 30).

A few summers ago we took a trip to Maine. I enjoyed the beauty of the coastal towns, particularly the many boats in the harbors or out on the water.  The weather was much different than my previous visit there, when a northeaster was passing through.

I came across a quote in a devotional book that reminded me of the beauty of those harbors.  “We may not always have time for grand departures to wonderful retreats or resorts where we can be refreshed.  That is why I treasure small harbors.  They are all around us waiting to let us catch our breath before the next wind carries us away” (Sheila Walsh).

Chronic health problems are like storms in my life, tossing me on the waves of pain and fear.  Sometimes they only cause ripples but other times they crash over me, pulling me under.  How I would love to escape to some quiet haven of respite, free from these struggles. 

I am becoming more aware of the small harbors of peace that God brings in to my life.  Whether they last minutes or days, they help me renew my faith and trust in God and prepare for the next wind that comes.  These small harbors can come in many forms – a verse of Scripture, a church service, a support group, a talk with a friend, time spent in nature, a book I read, a song I hear, times with family, day outings, or vacations.  Any of these can be God’s little retreats where He restores and strengthens me.

One day I will reach the desired haven for which I was created – the final harbor of eternity.  No more storms of pain and suffering.  Until I reach that harbor, how thankful I am for the small ones He provides here. 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, open my eyes to the small harbors of refreshment You bring into my life.   And when I am trying to hold on during the storms of suffering, thank you that You are in the boat with me.  Amen.

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