Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Advent- Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 26, Jesus’ sinlessness

By Elizabeth Prata

This section of verses that show Jesus’ life are focused on His attributes & earthly ministry. We’ve seen Him as servant, teacher, shepherd, intercessor, and healer. We looked at His attributes of omniscience, His authority, and now His sinlessness.

He came from glory where righteousness reigns. He descended to an earth that’s cursed where every single human is depraved, thoroughly drenched with a sin nature. He lived among us, sinlessly and perfectly fulfilling the Father’s commands for righteous living. He did this at every moment in every way. Not one blot, not one thought, not one act of anything less than perfection.

For this, He was reviled, mocked, hated, and killed.

He did it for us.

thirty daysof jesus 26

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Further Reading:

The Cripplegate/Nate Busenitz: In what way was Jesus ‘made sin’ on the cross?

In what sense did Jesus become “sin on our behalf”? Does that phrase mean that Jesus literally became a sinner on the cross? …

Based on the above passages, we can safely determine what 2 Corinthians 5:21 does not mean. It cannot mean that Jesus became unrighteous, or that He became a sinner, or that He took on a sin nature, or that He literally embodied sin. … So, then what does it mean? This brings us to our third point. … 3. The best way to understand Paul’s statement (that Jesus became sin on our behalf) is in terms of imputation. Our sin was imputed to Christ, such that He became a substitutionary sacrifice or sin offering for all who would believe in Him.

GotQuestions: Why does Christ’s righteousness need to be imputed to us?

On the cross, Jesus took our sin upon Himself and purchased our salvation. We have “been justified by his blood” (Romans 5:9), and part of that justification is an imputation of His own righteousness. Paul puts it this way: “For our sake [God] made [Jesus] to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus is righteous by virtue of His very nature—He is the Son of God. By God’s grace, “through faith in Jesus Christ,” that righteousness is given “to all who believe” (Romans 3:22). That’s imputation: the giving of Christ’s righteousness to sinners.

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Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background

Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi Offer gifts & worship

Day 9: The Child Grew
Day 10- the Boy Jesus at the Temple
Day 11: He was Obedient
Day 12: The Son!
Day 13: God is Pleased with His Son
Day 14: Propitiation
Day 15: The Gift of Eternal Life
Day 16: Kingdom of Darkness to Light
Day 17: Jesus’ Preeminence
Day 18: The Highest King
Day 19: He Emptied Himself (Servant)
Day 20: Jesus as Teacher
Day 21: Shepherd
Day 22: Jesus as Intercessor
Day 23: Compassionate Healer
Day 24: Omniscience
Day 25: Jesus’ Authority

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Advent- Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 24, Attributes- His Omniscience

By Elizabeth Prata

We have been through a section of verses that show Jesus’ life in His earthly ministry. We’ve seen Him as servant, teacher, shepherd, intercessor, and healer.

Now we look at His attributes. Today- Omniscience.

thirty days of Jesus day 24

CARM.org: Definition of omniscience
Omniscience is an attribute of God alone. It is the quality of having all knowledge (Isaiah 40:14). God knows all things possible as well as actual because He has ordained whatsoever will come to pass according to the counsel of His will (Eph. 1:11). He does not need to experience something to know about it completely. 

Ligonier: Scripture and the Two Natures of Christ
The historic Christian understanding of the person of Christ is that He is one person who possesses two natures: a divine nature and a human nature. Each nature retains its unique properties, and the two natures remain distinct, though inseparably united in Christ’s person. Thus, according to His divine nature, as the second person of the Trinity, the Son of God is omniscient, omnipotent, and so forth. According to His human nature, the incarnate Christ needs to eat food to survive, grows in knowledge, and so forth.

GotQuestions: What does it mean that Jesus is omniscient?
Despite the condescension of the Son of God to empty Himself and make Himself nothing (Philippians 2:7), His omniscience is clearly seen in the New Testament writings. The first prayer of the apostles in Acts 1:24, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart,” implies Jesus’ omniscience, which is necessary if He is to be able to receive petitions and intercede at God’s right hand.

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Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background

Prophecies-
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Birth & Early Life-
Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi Offer gifts & worship

Day 9: The Child Grew
Day 10- the Boy Jesus at the Temple
Day 11: He was Obedient
Day 12: The Son!
Day 13: God is Pleased with His Son

The Second Person of the Trinity-
Day 14: Propitiation
Day 15: The Gift of Eternal Life
Day 16: Kingdom of Darkness to Light
Day 17: Jesus’ Preeminence
Day 18: The Highest King

Jesus’ various works and ministry
Day 19: He Emptied Himself (Servant)
Day 20: Jesus as Teacher
Day 21: Shepherd
Day 22: Jesus as Intercessor
Day 23: Compassionate Healer

Attributes
Day 24: Omniscience

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Advent: Thirty Days of Jesus, Day 3; ‘Perfect Timing’

By Elizabeth Prata

We are in the section of my Advent thirty day flow where we examine PROPHECY, ARRIVAL, and EARLY LIFE of Jesus.

In this section I chose verses that reflect the prophecies that predict His coming. Prophecy warns of coming judgment but it also comforts in that it foretells the holy and wonderful resolution of all things for the believer. This resolution didn’t begin with Jesus’ incarnation as a babe in the manger, it began before the foundation of the world when the God-head held an intra-council discussion and Jesus voluntarily chose to become the sacrificial Lamb.

Introduction & Background to this series here

thirty days of jesus verse 3

Introduction/Background
Day 1 post
Day 2 post

Ten Bible verses about God’s Timing

As we go about our daily lives, we often become discouraged by the many difficulties and challenges we face. Life can be stressful sometimes, posing unprecedented demands on our faith and trust in God. You might find yourself wondering how things could be different – why God has put certain obstacles in your path. Why this, why now? Bible verses offer all the answers. This post covers useful Bible verses about God’s timing to help you cope during difficult times. 

Challies: Five verses on adoption

The word “adoption” (Greek huiothesias) occurs only a few times in the New Testament, and each time it refers to God choosing a people for himself. Though there are not a lot of references to this word, there is a good deal we learn from them about the doctrine of adoption.

Ligonier: Adoption into God’s Family by Iain Campbell

Among the blessings God bestows on us in Christ is the blessing of adoption. We have been brought into God’s family and made God’s children. From God we have received “the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father’” (Rom. 8:15). As far as our status is concerned, we are no longer “strangers and aliens” to the people of God but “members of the household of God” (Eph. 2:19). The Christians in Ephesus may have no natural affinity to the descendants of Abraham, but God in His grace has addressed the issue of their spiritual alienation from His covenant by making them His sons and daughters.

Answers In Genesis: Adopted into God’s Family by Rod Martin

Every once in a while, I am asked, “What’s it like to be adopted?” I was two days old when my parents chose me to be their son. Being adopted is an amazing thing. I was taken from a situation that probably would not have turned out well and was given the opportunity to grow up in a loving Christian home. I became a member of a new family. I had a new identity, a new name, a new opportunity, and eventually a new inheritance. I was chosen!

Editor Note: All scripture-pictures were made by me, photos in the series are mine with just 3 exceptions.

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Advent: Thirty Days of Jesus, Day 2; He will come!

By Elizabeth Prata

Thirty days of exalting Jesus through selected verses with pictures representing the prophecy, life, death, resurrection, and Second Coming of our Savior.

More information and background on this series, here

thirty days of jesus verse 2

Day 1: The Virgin Shall Conceive

Ligonier: A Shoot from Jesse’s Stump: Devotional

History tells us this is exactly what happened, with David’s royal dynasty all but dying out as a result of God’s judgment of His people through Assyria and Babylon. Nevertheless, Isaiah also saw that while the Davidic line would seem to be dead, life would remain within the stump. A shoot—life barely detectable at first—would emerge. But once this shoot went forth, it would become a mighty tree.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Isaiah 11:1

 He comes forth out of the stem, or stump, of Jesse. When the royal family, that had been as a cedar, was cut down, and only the stump of it left, almost levelled with the ground and lost in the grass of the field (Dan. 4:15), yet it shall sprout again (Job 14:7); nay, it shall grow out of his roots, which are quite buried in the earth, and, like the roots of flowers in the winter, have no stem appearing above ground. The house of David was reduced and brought very low at the time of Christ’s birth, witness the obscurity and poverty of Joseph and Mary. The Messiah was thus to begin his estate of humiliation

All the Named Men of the Bible: Jesse

Jesse [Jĕs’se]—jehovah exists or firm. The son of Obed and father of David, and grandson of Boaz and Ruth, and an ancestor of Christ (Ruth 4:17, 22). Jesse had eight sons and two daughters by different wives (1 Sam. 17:12-14, 25). Isaiah speaks of “the stock of Jesse,” a phrase indicating that it was from Jesse the Messiah would come. The humble descent of the Messiah is contrasted with the glorious kingdom He is to have (Isa 11:1).

Introduction/Background
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive

Posted in cornucopia, encouragement, horn of plenty

Happy Thanksgiving: Jesus is the horn of plenty

By Elizabeth Prata

Romans 8:14-17:

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

The Westminster Larger Catechism succinctly explains the verse’s benefits of this adoption as sons of God-

What is adoption?
A. Adoption is an act of the free grace of God, in and for his only Son Jesus Christ, whereby all those that are justified are received into the number of his children, have his name put upon them, the Spirit of his Son given to them, are under his fatherly care and dispensations, admitted to all the liberties and privileges of the sons of God, made heirs of all the promises, and fellow-heirs with Christ in glory.

Think of that for a moment…how great and bountiful this gift is.

At Thanksgiving we often see the American symbol of the ‘horn of plenty’ also known as the Cornucopia. The horn is filled to overflowing with harvest items from this time of year, such as this depiction from American Greetings freebies:

Adoption is an act of the free grace of God, in and for his only Son Jesus Christ, whereby all those that are justified are given gifts from HIS harvest of plenty. Picture the overflowing cornucopia of plenty from Jesus with His harvest treasures:

–received into the number of his children,
–have his name put upon them,
–the Spirit of his Son given to them,
–are under his fatherly care and dispensations,
–admitted to all the liberties and privileges of the sons of God,
–made heirs of all the promises, and
–fellow-heirs with Christ in glory.

All Christians have these and so much more to be thankful for. I know I am grateful for the opportunity to be grateful to Jesus forever.

Posted in aliens and strangers, encouragement, heaven tourism, macarthur, prayer, sermons

The RIGHT kind of Heaven Tourism

By Elizabeth Prata

Mike Riccardi at The Cripplegate began an excellent essay on the times in which we live this way:

The last few months have been emotionally tiring for Christians in America.

You can say that again.

The last few months have been emotionally tiring for Christians in America.

Weary with burdens? Climbing an endless mountain?
Let the Lord refresh you. (EPrata photo)

I don’t need to go over it all, we know what Pastor Riccardi means. We all know we are living in a sinful world, we all know we contribute to the sins that are piling up to heaven (though thank the Lord we are forgiven for them.) We are tired and we are weary. And it has only just begun.

The love of Jesus is a mystery in its depth and breadth and height and width and its eternality since before time began. This love given to us from heaven is incomprehensible and would overflow us if we received it openly in unglorified bodies.

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge…(Ephesians 3:17-19a)

Similarly, the hatred of satan is a mystery to us. We are unable to fully comprehend its evilness. We all know that the depths of sin and its ugliness is still a mystery to us, until some heinous acts are then exposed and we very nearly succumb to the shock. Remember, these heinous acts have been ongoing since the beginning of the world. Yet Christ in His mercy doesn’t reveal them all to us at once, else we would veritably collapse from emotional exhaustion and spiritual despair. The last month has been hard enough.

the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. (Matthew 12:35a)

But it’s still difficult to deal with when we see previously unrevealed depths of depravity.

So what can we do when faced with incomprehensible evil? We can remember we are missionaries, aliens and strangers and this is not our home.

Our home is over yonder. EPrata photo

For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. (1 Chronicles 29:15)

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; (Philippians 3:20)

We all know the summary of the verse at John 17:16, ‘we are in the world but not of it.’ In practical terms, I heard it explained best by Alistair Begg, “The boat is supposed to be in the water, but the water isn’t supposed to be in the boat.” ~Alistair Begg.

What can we do to get the water out of our boat?

Take a missionary leave to heaven. Yes, enjoy some heaven tourism. All missionaries get leave to go home once in a while. We all need a vacation from our daily grind. So go home to heaven. Here is how to do it:

First, pray. The Lord will call us home bodily in His good timing. But every day we can visit our home through prayer. When your kids go on mission, or go to college, or move a distance away, don’t they Skype with you? Don’t they call? They are not there in body to be with their father but they communicate with home base. Who doesn’t remember being a shaky, tearful kid alone at college, or on the Army base, and calling home to receive some love from Dad or comfort from Mom?

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Romans 8:26)

Stuck on this planet, our friends and colleagues perhaps have made it back home before us, lonely, shaky, tearful wanderer, pray. It is the “ET phone home” of Christianity.

Next, read the Bible. It is the security blanket the alien and stranger on this planet needs to stay warm, stay energized, stay effective. It is the energy pill, immunization shot, protein drink we need as we go out and complete our missionary tasks on planet Earth. When we are overcome with darkness because of the world, then overcome darkness with Light! The light is reading God’s word and seeing the face of Jesus. We can’t actually go to heaven and see Him yet, but we can behold His countenance by reading His words and having the Spirit point us toward Him. Behold His glory through the Word.

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Third, wash yourself, wrap yourself in the Word by listening to a good sermon. Stay away from secular radio, avoid even Christian radio. Most times even Christian radio with its sad news coupled with songs that are only doctrine-light will not uplift you but bring you down. There is no better refreshment than the Living water to enliven the weary traveler, as we are.

When you listen to a good expositor plumb the beauteous depths of God’s word it washes over you like a flood of love and light. When you do this you are wrapping yourself in liquid sunlight, chasing away the vaporous darkness and illuminating the corners of your soul with heavenly love. Choose sermons that exegete verse on the beauty of heaven, or the strength of Jesus’ love, or the promises of things to come.

I can heartily recommend John MacArthur for this purpose. Phil Johnson on the Psalms is a wonderfully encouraging resource. Or choose another expositor who preaches verse by verse the word only. We do not want to hear some silly personal story from the pulpit when we’re faced with depths of sadness and are crying out to God. We don’t need practical tips for living, or topical studies. We want THE WORD, for that is the only ticket us expatriates require when it’s necessary to go on temporary leave to heaven.

Another good resource is just listening to an audio book that speaks the word. I listen to RefNet and at times they read aloud huge segments of the Bible. The word fills me and its vapors stream from the radio to my ears to my mind and glide along my veins and fill my innermost parts. It is His word that encourages, uplifts, transforms. When you want to visit heaven on a missionary reprieve, listen to a narrator read His eternal word. It is a living and active word, thus you WILL be refreshed.

Listen to hymns. Let strong, doctrinal music flood your soul, cleaning out the leaves and twigs that have accumulated in the corners of our our soul. Let good music wash away the despair and cleanse our mind. What a balm to bask in pure words from heaven! Choose your music carefully, and make a playlist that encompasses encouraging lyrics which include verses as straight from the Bible as you can. Again it is communication with heaven that we are after in order to visit heaven, they have to be His words, not man’s. Here is a list of good, doctrinal hymns from Religious Affections Ministries. They are grouped by category.

EPrata photo

So pray, read the Bible, listen to the Word, and enjoy good, doctrinal music. We are aliens on this planet. Taking time each day to temporarily visit home will please the Father, who sent us abroad. It will liven our heart, to further Jesus’ kingdom. It will allow us to partake of the peace, that Jesus gave us.

Be encouraged, Brother, be heartened Sister, be strong Pastor…

The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe. (Proverbs 18:10)











Posted in encouragement, peace

Jesus left us with the gift of Peace

By Elizabeth Prata

God is love. God is Justice. God is holiness. God is unwavering. God is mercy. Think of the quality of Jesus as being peace, and offering peace as He left us in person.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Not man-made peace which doesn’t last. That kind of peace is fleeting, as when someone offers you a raise, or pays your debt, or after a refreshing nap, or when a project is completed or a meal is good. That kind of peace is surface, shallow peace.

That kind of peace can be disrupted by mundane and ridiculous things. A car horn, a baby’s cry, a shove in line, traffic, a missed deadline. Peace that is man-made can also be taken away by man.

The peace that Jesus gives us is a permanent peace. It drenches every molecule of us with its truth and comfort. As Charles Spurgeon wrote in his sermon on the John 14:27 verse, titled, Spiritual Peace,

The donation, the blessed legacy which our Lord has here left, is his peace.”… There is a peace of God which reigns in our hearts through Jesus Christ, by which we are bound in closest ties of unity and concord to every other child of God whom we may meet with in our pilgrimage here below.”

Our peace then, is God’s own child, and God-like is its character. His Spirit is its sire, and it is like its Father. It is “my peace,” saith Christ! not man’s peace; but the unruffled, calm, the profound peace of the Eternal Son of God. Oh, if we had but this one thing within our bosoms, this divine peace, a Christian were a glorious thing indeed; and even now kings and mighty men of this world are as nothing when once compared with the Christian; for he wears a jewel in his bosom which all the world could not buy, a jewel fashioned from old eternity and ordained by sovereign grace to be the high boon, the right royal inheritance of the chosen sons of God.

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Kay Cude Poetry: The Light of Our Salvation

Artist’s statement:

For me, the lone tree speaks of God’s wonderful handiwork, not only representing His gift of nature, but brings to mind that His redeemed are not alone, but safely tucked within His Might eternally. And as the brilliance of the sun pierces boldly through the dark-ending of the storm, one thought leads me to another — remembrance of Christ’s death and resurrection. Then speaks to His beloved redeemed: the “things” of this world are now more clearly seen through the light of His Salvation! We must daily pause to remember…

REMEMBRANCE
Posted in encouragement, mighty waters, prophecy, the end time

The voice of mighty rushing waters

By Elizabeth Prata

And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. (Ezekiel 43:2)

His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. (Revelation 1:15)

And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. (Revelation 14:2)

When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty, like the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings. (Ezekiel 1:24)

EPrata photo

When you’re canoeing or kayaking on a silent river, the only sounds you can hear are birds, whisper of wind in the trees, and the drip of water rolling off the paddle as it comes out of the water.

The sound of rapids can be heard a distance off. The tumult of rushing water is distinctive and signals a major change in the status of the river. Once calm and nearly still, the closer you approach to the rapidly rushing water, the louder it is, and the faster it goes. When you’re right on top of the rapids, that’s all you can hear. One must shout to be heard.

When the prophets were given a glimpse of the throne room and heard the sound like of “many waters”, I don’t pretend to understand what that means or how it sounded in real life to their ears. It’s hard to describe something so supernaturally incomprehensible as the voice of God translated to mere human words. One can only imagine what the sound of His voice is like at full, glorified throttle.

I do know two things though. The sound of Niagara Falls is about 95 decibels, roughly equal to a rock concert. That’s loud.

Second, the voice of Jesus when He returns is a voice that will drown out all other voices. The Mighty Rushing Waters will drown out all voices that deny Him. The Many Waters will drown out all voices that blaspheme Him. The roar of the Rushing Waters will drown out all voices that proclaim a different god.

Albert Bierstad (1830–1902) oil painting, Niagara Falls

In Revelation 6:15-17 it says

Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, 17for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

On His Day, when He speaks with a voice like Many Waters, who can hear another voice? NO ONE. The voice of Jesus in power and strength will be the first, the last, and the only voice of holiness and glory, proclaiming His father the Almighty God! All those that dwell on the earth, the great and the small, the mighty and the lowly, will hear His voice, and who can hear another?

Each day that passes is a day we are in that kayak paddling downstream to the rapids, or on that boat Maid of the Mist approaching Niagara, getting closer to the day when the mighty rushing voice of God will be heard throughout the land. And what a day that will be.

Posted in bible, encouragement, sailing

Our Captain of the Mighty Seas

By Elizabeth Prata

O Lord of the oceans,
My little bark sails on a restless sea,
Grant that Jesus may sit at the helm and steer me safely;
Suffer no adverse currents to divert my heavenward course;
Let not my faith be wrecked amid storms and shoals;
Bring me to harbor with flying pennants,
Hull unbreached, cargo, unspoiled.

Excerpt from ‘Voyage‘, The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions, Edited by Arthur Bennett


I simply love the Valley of Vision Puritan devotionals. They are so Jesus-centered. It’s refreshing to read and ponder written prayers devoid of anything from today’s toxic effects of me-centered, prosperity, self-esteem nonsense.

Our sailboat. EPrata photo

I lived aboard a small yacht for two years, and through that experience I have a deep appreciation for the biblical allusions related to anything nautical. The Lighthouse, the stormy seas, the waves, reefs, and lee-side are all familiar to me and I can deeply identify with them. I suppose it is the same with the believing farmers and fishermen regarding the agricultural or fishing metaphors. Not that one needs to have had a certain life experience before understanding, but the life experience Jesus causes us to have does deepen some aspects of the Word and we gravitate to them on a different level. It’s like when a person becomes a parent for the first time, they understand the biblical verses related to parenting on a different level then they did before.

Though our boat is at anchor in this photo, we spent many a day where the sea looked as calm and as flat as it is in the picture as we tried capturing wisps of wind flowing here and there and inching along over tiny waves.

The sailor is ever restless. We want to go and we thus pray for wind. The wind comes but it’s not enough, or it’s too much. When the boat finally settles on a loping rhythm up and down the waves, the sailor wishes he was in port. Of course the moment one is in port, one wishes for the freedom of the sea. And so it goes.

The frustration of no wind can’t be overstated. The luffing sails, slack and listless seem almost an affront. One cannot manufacture wind. One cannot control the wind. One only waits, hopes, prays, and looks. The sailor learns patience. The sailor learns to relinquish control.

The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)

The opposite is a problem, too. Too much wind can damage the boat, set the sailor off his course, or even swamp him and all will be lost at sea. The storms can be terrifying.

But the LORD hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up. 5Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. (Jonah 1:4-5a)

Luke wrote of the travails Paul endured when he put on a ship that set forth too late in the year. In their part of the world, winter was a time when many storms brewed up and winds became contrary in a moment.

The Storm at Sea:
Now when the south wind blew gently, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, they weighed anchor and sailed along Crete, close to the shore. But soon a tempestuous wind, called the northeaster, struck down from the land. And when the ship was caught and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along. (Acts 27:13-15).

And putting out to sea from there we sailed under the lee of Cyprus, because the winds were against us. (Acts 27:4).

Sailors know the prevailing wind‘s direction given the time of year. Prevailing winds are winds that blow predominantly from a single general direction over a particular point on the Earth’s surface. They try to use islands as their shelter, making it a lee. This means if the prevailing wind comes from the east toward the west, if you sail or anchor on the west side, the island has blocked the wind and you will have more peaceful waters upon which to sail or sleep. Like this:

source

As the poet stated in Valley of Vision, “Bring me to harbor with flying pennants, hull unbreached, cargo, unspoiled.” That is always the sailor’s main objective- get to harbor. Sailors are not made to voyage permanently, or Christians are not made to pilgrimage permanently. We are all voyaging toward one and only one harbor, the feet of the risen Jesus in the safety of His harbor, the Kingdom of God.

Until then we have a great and powerful Captain, our Rock to shelter and protect us from the storms and winds that try to blow us off course or drown us. Our Lord is our ever-present and mightily capable Captain of safety. Thus, thanks to Jesus Christ, it is well with our sail soul.