I’m always up for trying something new.

When we took the sailboat out with the grandkids during the last week in August, we decided to take the quick hop over to Tacoma and spend the night docked at the Foss Waterway, right along Dock Street downtown.

It was much different than being in a marina, all nestled in behind a barrier and surrounded by other boats. That environment is much quieter and more serene and is pretty much what I’ve been used to in our limited time on the water during the last 15 months of married life.

Docking up right on the waterway in downtown Tacoma had a whole other feel. City noises included the lonely whistle of the train. Across the waterway blazed a torch like flame from the excess gas from the refinery, lighting up the night as it reached up to the heavens.

Lights from the bridge, the boats, and the container loading cranes reflected off the water and created blue, red, green, and white shimmers on the glassy bay.

I was excited about the extra movement we would feel at night as the boat rocked with the ebb and flow of the water as vessels moved by in the dark. That first night I slept deeply as the boat swayed away.

The second night was the real kicker. The weather turned a bit, so the extra wind added some dimension, but long about 2 or 3 in the morning, I’m guessing a barge or two slipped by and we were in for the ride of our lives! She lurched and bucked over the wake as it came our way, and there was a moment or two of fear, even though Ross had tied the boat well.

What if we break lose from the dock?

Could the waves become too much for us?

Funny that the mild panic of the boat’s rock and roll quickly became a thrill and then comforting in a strange way. I loved it, and though the commotion woke me up with a start, it also lulled me back to sleep with deep, steady movement.

Ever since, I’ve been pondering that experience. How much life is like that.

One minute you’re in a safe harbor, quiet and peaceful.

The next you’re in a completely different place, with situations that rock your world and turn it upside down.

Unfounded fear will always try to sneak into the middle of those times, but knowing He is there, and nothing catches Him by surprise, can change everything.

I know I still struggle sometimes with assuming the worst, allowing fear to reign as the “what ifs” ricochet through my head and heart like a pinball machine.

And then He reminds me of His love, His grace, His forgiveness even in the midst of my unbelief.

He comforts.

He nurtures.

He refreshes.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.  (Isaiah 41:10)

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