You probably recognize the Breton fisherman’s prayer that was once given to JFK on a wooden plaque. It says, “Dear God, be good to me. The sea is so wide, and my boat is so small.” I don’t know about you, but I feel like my boat can barely stay afloat some days.  Not only is the sea a lot wider, it feels endless, overwhelming, much like the chaos that floats like unseen icebergs in the world. We look out from our tiny little vessel and wonder how we can manage it, how we can even stay upright. We put our oars in the water, but the sea is still before us. Perhaps we can anchor our thoughts with a few reminders that God is with us and has not abandoned us to navigate the world alone. The One who made the sea, knows what we need to find our way.

Here are a few oars, some ways to paddle your way across this great big sea.

Remember when Jesus told His followers, “I will be with you always, even to the end of the age?” Well, if we trust that He meant every word, then we know He is still with us. In fact, He has been with us since we drew our first breath. Whether you’re surrounded by a sea of worry, an ocean of guilt, or any other big issue, you have a life preserver. You have something to give you hope.

A writer named Timothy reminds us that we are brave. We are brave because we’ve been given the Spirit of God which gives us power, love, and self-discipline. We aren’t timid. We aren’t afraid because we are plugged into the Source of all possibility. We are always in good hands.

If for some reason we don’t quite feel smart enough to keep our boat afloat, then we can ask God for more wisdom. The Apostle James told us to go to God, who gives wisdom generously to each of us without finding fault. He wants us to know what to do. He knows we might have gotten ourselves in a mess, we might have paddled out too far for our own good. He doesn’t care about that. He cares that we simply come and ask for direction. Ask for help. He might even replace those oars with a power motor, something to move us more quickly to the shore.

Now let’s picture this. Let’s picture our little vessel on the great big sea, and just outside the picture, just beyond our periphery is an ocean liner that is sending a tugboat our way to latch on and bring us aboard the ship. We climb onto the upper deck, look out at the beautiful water and enjoy the wind in our hair and the laughter of friends. We don’t have a care in the world because the captain of the vessel has everything under control.

He makes your way secure. He is always there for you.