Troubled Seas

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.” Lamentations 3:22-24

Cole

“Cap’n.” It wasn’t until thirty seconds later that I finally broke free from my reverie. “Sorry, what?” I asked.

“We’re awaiting orders, Cap’n.” The crewmember was understandably agitated. Standing at the helm, I looked up at the angry clouds that looked like they could empty their contents any second. We needed to avoid the torrential downpour at all possible. Yes, the ship could handle a beating, but we don’t have the luxury of being delayed by making storm repairs. The longer it takes to get to land, the harder it will be to track down Harmony.

Switching my gaze to the horizon, I knew that there was land slightly east of our destination. Veering from the path could make the journey longer, but there was no avoiding it. I looked back at Rody the fairly new crew-member without apology. “We are heading starboard. Tell the others to ready the mast and sails.” With a curt nod, Rody left my side and shouted orders to the other crewmen.

Normally, Marcus would have awaited orders and told the others, but he was below deck taking a nap. Earlier, I had caught the older gentlemen coughing and sneezing. As much as Marcus tried to deny it, he was probably sick from not getting adequate sleep and working tirelessly every day to keep the crew happy and compile Melody’s letters into a book of some sort.

As the land finally appeared, everyone subtly relaxed, but raindrops signaled the start of impending storm. We weren’t out of danger yet. The wind was on our side, but the ship was beginning to rock even as we picked up speed. Steering the ship suddenly became more difficult.

“All hands on deck!” I yelled over the howling wind, but the crew obeyed the order. “Secure the rigging! Take down the sails!”

“Aye!” they said in unison. The roar of the waves nearly out-rivaled any human utterance. I didn’t want to risk breaking the mast due to the turbulence. Then we would lose any last vestige of control. Huh, I couldn’t help but sneer at the irony. Ever since Grace’s last visit, I struggled to find any remnant of peace. It was as if she had disturbed my very identity. Within me, there was a chaos that mirrored the storm.

Open your eyes…fulfill your true purpose. Words meant to encourage felt more like a sucker punch through the gut. I think when I first became Cole, I felt like I was given a new purpose. Now, I can barely remember what that purpose is. It doesn’t matter that I’m the master of this ship. I still have no control about the final destination, and that is breathtakingly terrifying. Likewise, I feel similarly about my life’s direction.

Doubts continue to plague me…Even now, I feel so bothered by my facial scar. I never realized how long I had used the eye patch as a shield to people. Before it was easy to exude confidence and authority, now I doubt and question every verbal and physical response I receive from my men. How can I possibly lead a ship and crew when I don’t know how to move forward?

“Land ho!”

The exclamation was followed by cheers of relief and happiness. After a few seconds, I began to give new orders. “Release anchor! Prepare to disembark before sunset, men.” Another round of cheers erupted before everyone began their assigned tasks, and I made my way below deck to check on Marcus.

Even though the future is unknown, at least I can finally see the rays of sunshine escaping through the dark clouds. I still have so many uncertainties in my heart, but maybe what the King is teaching me is to fully depend on Him for my daily portion and pillar of strength.

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