Many of you are probably aware that I grew up close to the Potomac River in Woodbridge, Virginia. In all the years I lived around the Potomac, I never saw the river the same twice. I remember coming out at sunrise to ski on the glassy surface—and skiing over huge waves as evening thunderstorms hit and we tried to make it back to shore. I recall crawling out on a heaving pier to help my father-in-law get his boat into a marina during a hurricane. I remember beautiful sunrises over a placid river and floods that brought the river over its banks to baptize the surrounding land. Some years ago, when I was younger and just as foolish as I am today, I took a rowboat out on the Potomac from the riverfront home of my wife’s family and decided to pay a visit to a small island halfway across to the Maryland shore. It was a blustery day but the wind was with me. I moved fast and with little strain and it seemed only minutes before I covered the mile out to the island. After a brief exploration of this lonely rock, I decided it was time to head back home. Only the same strong wind that was so helpful in taking me out to the island now conspired to keep me from getting back to Virginia. I rowed and rowed into the wind but made no headway. I grew exhausted and as the boat drifted backwards, I became afraid I’d soon end up a refugee in Maryland. Forced to use my head (which I tend to do only under extreme circumstances), I realized it made more since to row across the wind, rather than with or against it. Eventually I made the northern point of the small bay I had set out from. I then walked the rowboat along the shallow shore all the way back to my in-law’s beach. People who live on and along the water understand the unpredictable nature of life. They know how to enjoy the warm and peaceful days while being prepared for the storms. They know there are times God’s love will flow into our lives as easily as the river flows on a calm day; times when emotions will be placid and a steady wind will be at our backs helping us along. There will also be times when waves and winds and storms threaten and no matter how hard we row, we find our strength ebbing, diminishing, disappearing. Those are the times when God’s Spirit encourages us to stop rowing so hard, to humble ourselves, to be still and ask God to give us strength and show us the way home. Perhaps you’ve grown discouraged rowing into life’s roughest winds – or found yourself adrift, aimlessly meandering through life toward indeterminate shores. In His Word, God offers to preserve the life of those who trust in him; to renew their life’s purpose, and to restore their joy… even in the hardest of times. Will you trust today in Jesus, the solid rock upon which our lives can withstand the harshest of winds and rains and floods?