Don’t Stay in the Boat

One day in a counseling session, my therapist painted a scenario for me.  “You’re in the middle of a lake, you see a storm coming, and the water is growing angry. You have no paddles to get you back to shore. What would you do?” 

This simple question perplexed me. I sat for a minute or two working through all the possible scenarios for saving myself. Finally, I settled on one: “I guess I’d lean over the side of the boat and start paddling with my arms.” To me, that was a logical choice. 

She paused for a beat and asked, “What about getting out of the boat?” Abandoning the boat had never entered my mind when considering my options of returning to shore. I know how to swim and jumping from the boat and swimming to shore was a rational choice, yet I never even considered it. 

Considering a New Choice

So often, I’ve chosen to stay stranded in the storms of life, using fairly ineffectual tools (withdrawal, anger, control, escapism, and others) to weather my storms.  I might make it through the storm, eventually, and wake up on the shore clutching a splintered piece of boat – – bruised and battered and no better for the survival. 

When I read Psalms 62:7-8, I imagine myself jumping from the boat, not out of fear, but from a place of confidence. My safe-harbor and granite-strong God, calls me to a new way of weathering storms. Swimming through a storm isn’t easy, but staying in the boat isn’t safe either. Swimming to our safe harbor requires effort, hard work, and learning new strokes that keep us afloat. Anger never calmed a raging sea but a truth spoken in love can. Escapism never made a problem disappear but taking steps to address it can. Control is a mere mirage, so we turn it over to the One who is in control. Withdrawal, a cancerous quiet, so we pour out our hearts to God and let Him gift us with His peace.

Making the Choice

Jumping out of the boat looks different for everyone, but the remedy for being destroyed by the storm is the same: swim to the safe harbor of God. Let his strength and love teach you new ways of conquering your next storm. He is a safe place to be.

Journeying together,


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