Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

Becalmed? Be calm.

November 8, 2020

[Sailing. Unable to move through lack of wind]

Right now we are in a season which feels somewhat as if we are a boat with the sail up but there is no wind.

When there is no wind at all the people on a sailing boat might feel powerless and impatient, maybe even frustrated. Those who believe in God might think of the Bible account that refers to Jesus in the storm when he commanded the wind and the waves and afterward they exclaimed “even the wind and the waves obey him!” [Matthew chapter 8]

 In our situation we want Him to make the wind blow into our sail right now!

A few weeks ago, the leaders of a Christian community that I am part of, met to pray and listen to God. Over the past two years we have been challenged to ‘lay down’ all that the community had been doing, and to wait on God for a new thing to emerge. As we prayed I had a clear sense initially that God was simply saying, “You have been drifting.” I immediately felt some defensiveness within me, as my own instinct is to admire action and progress. To me, being described as ‘drifting’ is very negative. I immediately felt that God started to expand on this idea and I had the impression of being in a sailing boat when there is no wind at all – absolute calm.

If you have ever experienced being in a boat with the sail up and the air being still, you will know that powerlessness and lack of a sense of control. In fact, all you can do is paddle, or if you have one, start a motor!

I felt God started to speak to me with an encouragement: He has caused the wind to stop and He has caused us to “drift under the influence of the currents away from previous assumptions, commitments, and norms.” This has been His deliberate and gentle repositioning and realigning. We mayhave felt that we have been drifting, but actually the currents of the water represent His sovereign leading in our circumstances and events. God himself has been moving us away from what was ‘normal’ to a new outlook and new position.

At this moment, the temptation is to paddle or start a motor – this would be human effort: To do something! To get back in control, and be able to direct the boat. However, We need to trust Him.

I felt God quietly making me aware that as soon as He causes the wind to blow, the boat will immediately start to move, and we will be underway, able to steer and make progress. This will be His timing. Anyone who has been in a becalmed sailing boat will know that as soon as the slightest breeze begins, the boat can start to be directed and move forward. We need patience and trust. [Isaiah 30:15]

Right now, there is a sense of the wind having dropped and we feel powerless. Some examples of this: The Coronavirus and Covid has brought so many aspects of life to a halt; The stand off between China and the West seems to be stuck: The Brexit experience since the UK referendum four and a half years ago seems to have paralysed UK politics. There has been a lot of heated discussion on the boat, but very little progress for the nation! The USA elections are another example. Whatever anyone’s opinion on the result of the USA presidential vote, right now the process is somewhat becalmed – stuck – with many on both sides feeling like the wind has been taken out of their sails.

This is a time to acknowledge that God is Sovereign. This means that even when there is no wind in our sails, His currents which are deep and unseen, are moving us to a new position, a new outlook and new situation. God is far from inactive or passive in all this.

The great encouragement through all this is that we await just the slightest breeze…

I sense that the breeze is about to blow. [Habakkuk 1v5]

Shades of Grey

February 12, 2015

2015-02-07 17.11.51



The recent shootings in Paris and the various responses to the Charlie Ebdo campaign have highlighted that many people don’t know what to believe. It seems that our society has embraced so much relativistic thinking that we don’t know what is true anymore. In other words, we’ve accepted the idea that if something is true for you then you must live by that. The very notion of persuading anyone toward our beliefs has become anti-social! Recently I heard a programme on BBC Radio 4 talking about language change over time, and how in the past generation words relating to obligation and authority have become less popular. In the Bible Paul hints at this type of culture in his warning of mocking and rebellious attitudes in the last days. In all this, the Church has lost much of her confidence in the very concept of truth. The Church seems to be more fractured than ever when it comes to the matter of truth. One casualty is our collective confidence. We don’t really want to speak out on anything in case we cause offence. No-one is quite sure who should speak anyway. If any significant leader expresses an opinion on anything, the foaming seas of Facebook and Twitter will certainly bring out some destructive comments from within our own ranks!


However, there are growing areas of consensus: The desire for the church to express the love of God in a hurting world; The recognition that an important prophetic cry is to speak up for the poor and marginalised. Perhaps there is an emerging awareness that the core motivation of the Church must be to be like Jesus? Jesus was and is confident. He knows what he believes and he speaks out unafraid of being misunderstood and yet starts from love and compassion. When we search for absolutes in a confused world let’s take a lead from St Paul: “I know who I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have entrusted to him.” As we know Him, our confidence rises up!


This article appeared previously as an editorial for Harvest magazine, published by Together for the Harvest in Merseyside.

Let’s Have Breakfast!

November 4, 2012

It’s a major junction in history, Jesus has risen from the dead, and is launching a whole new era of life with the Holy Spirit. Jesus meets the disciples on the beach, and teases them about their lack of a catch – a pointed reminder for Peter of his original encounter with him. By the way -all the while, Jesus already had a fire going and fish cooking! Just as the first time when Peter met him, Jesus suggests throwing the fishing net overboard again. Again it happened, a great catch. The first time this happened, the nets began to break, but this time the disciples noted the large number of fish, and that the nets did not break. It is said that that at that time there were thought to be 153 species of fish, so these men who had been called to be ‘fishers of men’ would immediately see the significance: They were called to reach all species of fish – all mankind! The nets were not breaking, the nets were full, every nation was represented, and the surprising catch was a divine intervention!

Jesus is about to talk to the disciples about their future ministry and priorities in the great and wonderful new era that was opening up; A vision to reach the ends of the earth and teach all people everywhere about the Kingdom. Before he gets to that he says

“Come and have breakfast”

What an insight into the nature and character of Jesus! At this momentous turning point of history he doesn’t launch a teaching programme or organise a seminar. He is at peace, relaxed, and practical. He has breakfast with his close friends.

Let’s be like Jesus. Who wants breakfast?