|A boy and his boat.|
E embarked on the Optimist Sailing Introductory Course recently. It was his first experience on the water.
He started off raring to go. However, a few weeks later, Covid guidelines dictated that we stop again for a few weeks, and he lost momentum and spent the break gradually feeling more anxious about being out on the open sea and about the challenges he had had controlling the boat.
Week after week, we went through the same cycle of talking E through his fears and trying to balance between hearing him out and reminding him to stay the course and persevere in the hard things.
My prayer was that our son would encounter God when he cried out to Him with his genuine fears, but I was also struggling at the same time with my own worries about what could happen out at sea. I knew there was a very experienced coach, but there were still so many factors beyond our control.
We had given E a model sailboat for his baptism, and it has the verse from Joshua 1:9 on it - "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." We prayed this over him.
During the second last lesson out at sea, E said he suddenly experienced a burst of courage, which he knew was from God. And he also told himself that whatever goes wrong goes wrong, and he would just carry on. He finished the course, along with encouragement from his supportive fellow sailing buddies. We were so very proud of him.
Reflecting on this whole experience, I believe there was a lesson for me in this on letting go. I often think it's up to me to control the situation and if I am unable to, it will spiral out of control. But when your child is sailing way out of sight and is a tiny speck on the waters, there is nothing you can do except to trust God and the coach to take care of him.
He is looking after all the ones precious to us, be it our own kids, our foster kids, or those whom He has placed on our hearts, and He cares for them when it is beyond our ability to. Just because they're out of our sight, it doesn't mean they're out of His.
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