What do you think of when you read the following quote?
“A ship in the harbor is safe but that is not what ships are built for.” -John A. Shedd
Perhaps it makes you think of a ship actually in a harbor. A fishing boat covered in barnacles, tied to the dock, floating and bouncing around on the water. Or maybe you think of the scene from Titanic where there is a great pan shop of the majestic vessel covered with people waving goodbye to their loved ones and shining in the sun. Whatever you’re thinking, whether fishing boat, royal passenger ship, or something else, each ship has a journey that has to be taken. The journey begins with leaving the harbor.
Maybe at the start of this new year you are facing new opportunities and challenges; both good and bad. Don’t forget the promise that God gave to Joshua as he was leading the Israelites into the Promise Land.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Each trial, each opportunity, is a chance for you to grow, to get out of the harbor. Sure, the harbor is where you are is safe. Going through the same routine you did last year is easy and comfortable…and hard to break out of because it means you have to make a new start. But perhaps it is the time for that change.
Perhaps the change will be difficult, and it might hurt. Even a ship on the ocean gets eroded by the water and wind. But you will become stronger through each trial. Jim Cymbala explains this perfectly in his book, “You Were Made for More.”
“The principle behind almost any form of exercise is that resistance is required to make a person stronger. Muscles can’t build without force working against them. The same is true in the spiritual realm. Without “powers and principalities” working against us from time to time, our spiritual muscles don’t have a chance to be developed.”
As you go through each trial, you will grow and develop into a different and better person. Just remember through each trial to grow in God and don’t be afraid of becoming stronger.
Tim Clinton, Ed. D., LPC, LMFT (The College of William and Mary) is President of the nearly 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), the largest and most diverse Christian counseling association in the world. He is Professor of Counseling and Pastoral Care, and Executive Director of the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University. Licensed in Virginia as both a Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist, Tim now spends a majority of his time working with Christian leaders and professional athletes. He is recognized as a world leader in faith and mental health issues and has authored over 20 books including Breakthrough: When to Give In, When to Push Back. Most importantly, Tim has been married 36 years to his wife Julie and together they have two children, Megan, who recently married Ben Allison and is practicing medicine in dermatology, and Zach, who plays baseball at Liberty University. In his free time, you’ll find him outdoors or at a game with family and friends.