25th November 2019

A Ship in Harbour

“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 1.6 (NKJV)

A ship in harbour is safe, but that is not what ships are built for! While ships need harbours, they are built to be out on the sea carrying passengers and cargo to a destination. A voyage on a calm and pleasant sea is an enjoyable and relaxing experience for most people. But travelling through a storm is neither pleasant nor relaxing. Ships are built to withstand and ride out storms, however occasionally things go wrong and they can end up sinking or being wrecked on a dangerous part of the coast.

There is a lesson in that for us about life. Are we trying to remain safe in our harbour, avoiding the risks of life? Leaving our harbour means taking risks on what life might throw at us, on whether it will be calm or stormy. We can’t always see the way ahead and when we think we can, then the unexpected can soon throw us off the course we planned.

Any sensible person will try to reduce the risks as much as possible but will still be prepared to take them. It could be as simple as asking someone out on a date, not knowing whether the person will say yes or no. It could be going for a promotion at work that you don’t think you are ready for, biting off more than you can chew, then chewing like mad!

In Christian terms it is called stepping out in faith. We may want to stay safely in harbour but we pray for the courage not to. Like ships we have been designed to take risks and survive the storms of life. It’s tough if a relationship goes wrong, it’s tough if we fail at work, it’s tough if we feel frustrated, under valued and not able to use our gifts and skills! But that’s life, and the important thing is not to give up. Because if you take sensible risks life is fuller, more fun, more challenging and more satisfying. We may even be surprised at what we can do!

In times past when the UK was a more religious and respectful nation, being a Christian was a safe thing to be. But that is changing as the UK becomes a more secular nation and Christianity is regarded with little respect and indeed often with contempt. Now to stand up for Christian values and beliefs means you have to leave that safe harbour—you have to take the risk of faith; sometimes you have to set sail on the stormy seas of life!

Loving Father, sometimes our problems are self inflicted, but sometimes they come from living in this world at this time. Whatever the situation we face, give us the faith and trust we need to know you will not let us fail. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Keith Hartrick

About the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone: 01484-312347
Email: leeds@gracecom.church

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