Ministry Resources

The Wise Captain

Author: Howard and Nancy Stevens

Although we know that God’s ways are higher than our ways, just as the heavens are higher than the earth (Isaiah 55:9), it’s so much easier to trust Him when we have the needed resources already in hand.

When we lack what we need, and we see no way of obtaining it, our faith may plummet dramatically.

My husband recently shared the following illustration with me.

The Christian life is like beginning a long voyage without a sufficient supply of fuel.

Captain’s Orders

You know that you will not have enough fuel for the trip. However, in spite of that fact, the captain orders you to pull up the anchor and shove off. Since you are only a member of the crew, and not in command of the ship, you must obey the captain’s orders.

As you set out to sea, you enjoy the cool ocean breezes and abundant sunshine. The wind is blowing from the right direction and the ship is cruising along at a faster rate than you had anticipated. If the rest of the voyage is this smooth, we may not need additional fuel , you think.

However, just when your confidence in the captain has reached a new high, a major storm suddenly arises. Morning after morning you expect better weather, but your hopes remain unfulfilled. When the weather finally breaks, you inventory the ship’s cargo and fuel supply. To your dismay, you discover that half the cargo was washed overboard and a significant amount of the fuel was lost fighting against the gale.

You report your findings to the captain, anticipating that he will want to return to the homeport.

“Sail on,” the captain tells you.

“But, sir, we do not have sufficient fuel or supplies for the rest of the voyage, and the ship has taken quite a beating.”

“I am well aware of that,” he replies. “Sail on.”

As you obey his order, you mutter, “I hope the captain knows what he is doing.”

Trust the Captain

Although you wish for good weather for the remainder of the trip, you soon encounter more storms and unexpected catastrophes that further drain the ship’s resources. However, the captain continues to order you forward.

Just when the crew is about to mutiny, and you have abandoned any hope of surviving, the captain announces that the fuel shipment that he had expected is about to be delivered by another ship. Now, you realize that the captain knew what he was doing all along. Eventually you safely reach the desired port.

We go through many storms and troubles in our lives that exhaust our resources and exceed our capabilities.

At times, we may doubt our Captain’s care and provision, and we may even despair of completing our journey. But as we keep relying on Him, He continues to supply the strength and help we need, until one day we reach our eternal home.

Psalm 9:10 states, “Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you” (NIV).

“Lord, help us to trust You now, even though our resources may be depleted and the storm is raging. For You have never forsaken those who trust You.”

What's Next

We would love to answer any question you have or help suggest next steps on your journey.