Where Go the Boats

Capsized Boat on Christmas Day

Capsized Boat on Christmas Day

My Bed is a Boat.

My bed is like a little boat;
Nurse helps me in when I embark;
She girds me in my sailor’s coat
And starts me in the dark.

At night I go on board and say
Good-night to all my friends on shore;
I shut my eyes and sail away
And see and hear no more.

And sometimes things to bed I take,
As prudent sailors have to do;
Perhaps a slice of wedding-cake,
Perhaps a toy or two.

All night across the dark we steer;
But when the day returns at last,
Safe in my room beside the pier,
I find my vessel fast.
Robert Louis Stevenson, 1913

This childhood poem encapsulates my fascination with boats. Though I’ve never owned one, my imagination is always piqued as I sense the adventure a boat offers. It can carry me, gently rock me and lull me into restful sleep, or allow my mind to completely relax as I float across the water to new places; places accessible only by boat.

On a billowy Christmas morning in 2009, my husband and I were out for a morning adventure at a cove on the Gulf Coast in central Florida. We discovered several large vessels in various stages of capsize – all completely destroyed. Three were totally hull up, one floating upright but full of water, and the one pictured, rolled over, almost beneath the waves.

This morning at 4:30 I awakened with those images in my mind as I thought about the carpal tunnel surgery I have scheduled for today. Perhaps you are asking me to “connect the dots” in my thinking processes.

Let’s see:

  1. By design and purpose, boats are intended to float.
  2. Boats left untended can encounter conditions which will compromise or deteriorate their seaworthiness.
  3. Boats unmoored will drift with the flow of the water and be unavailable when needed.

Last night, my husband knew that I was having a few anxious thoughts regarding my surgery. He reminded me, “it’s minor surgery” to which I replied as does everyone, “it’s minor when it’s someone else – major when it’s you.”

We prayed together, and then he shared this precious verse out of Isaiah 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Immediately to my memory came the picture of a boat bobbing on the water, securely moored at the dock. The realization that my life is secure in the vessel of God’s love and moored in confidence to His protection and care, brought total calm to my heart.

As I lay there praying; my thoughts turned outward regarding many who need to know this calm today. My friend’s husband, Rod, is in terrible pain this morning and facing serious surgery in just a few hours. April, my second cousin, is battling cancer and has chemotherapy treatments in progress. Another dear friend is hearing the words that she must be moved from her home and into a rehab facility away from her family. A friend down the street seems unable to regain her strength since a recent surgery. A man is desperately lonely as his wife has decided to move out and pursue other interests.

Today, I pray for those I know whose boats are being buffeted about by howling winds. For those who feel the tempestuous waves battering against their souls, and for those who see dark foreboding skies that strike fear in their spirit. Father, help us to trust our little boat to your care and protection. Help us bring our vessel to a safe mooring.

Thank you Father, that You, and You alone,  can cause the storm to stop, and bring us safely to our desired haven (Psalm 107:30).

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