“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”.
-1 Peter 5:7
Our Polynesian ancestors were master navigators of the Pacific Ocean. They came over a thousand years ago by ocean-going canoe. Their “way-finding” skills and mastery of navigation was brilliant and commanding. If on a voyage, the clouds suddenly began to obscure the western sky, a man would be positioned in front to keep a back sight of a star on the horizon, as well as, the stars that followed it.
If the whole sky was overcast, he fell back temporarily on the angle of the wind and waves. If the heavens cleared, he would search for the stars on the western or eastern horizon known to belong to the same series as the stars that guided them when they first started.
In black or rainy weather at night, the ho’okele (navigator) relied on the winds because the waves would not change their direction, right away. If he became confused at any time on his journey, he would re-orientate himself by recognizing a certain wind to stay on track. During the day, the sun was his principle guide, along with the winds, currents and counting of the waves that “slapped” the sides of his canoe.
Often, seabirds would serve as a guide in the right direction. Our kupuna had a clear knowledge of the cardinal points of north, south, east and west, but they also were familiar with the midway points, too. If the ho’okele could find a wind or celestial star, he could find his course and would know if he was going in the right direction of his destination. He also knew his canoe and how it should be handled under every condition and challenge, even to the “righting” of it, should it overturn at sea.
To keep good track of the days, the navigator tied knots on a string for each day passed on his journey. The exploits and seafaring accomplishments of these “explorers” hold a very high place of honor and esteem. Their way-finding legacy and unmatched skills continue to model a deeper understanding for navigation today.
Likewise, in these tough times, I want to encourage you to trust in Ke Akua (God), the “Supreme Navigator”. Sail with Him and hold on tight because there’s a “hurricane” that is at work amongst us. It’s hazardous, invisible and most likely to cause “spiritual” injury. That disturbance is called, “WORRY”. You may have met some of his friends like “FEAR”, “DEPRESSION”, “BITTERNESS” “DOUBT” and “HOPELESSNESS”. If you haven’t noticed, he and his friends have already started their damage amongst us, especially, with the current pandemic trouble we face today.
I’ve come to tell someone reading this devotional to be on guard because “worry” robs you of the “joy” of living YOUR life…GOD’S WAY! We don’t have to lay down and surrender, instead, we can do something about it. You might say, “Kahu, you must be crazy! Things are really scary, right now!”. Point taken, after all, how can you live in a world affected by worldwide affliction, calamity, even evil? How can you live with your safety, financial security and your health in jeopardy? Here’s the answer:
CHANGE YOUR FOCUS!
Our scripture reading today encourages us to “cast” our problems to God, rather than worrying about them. Jesus said, in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 6, verse 27, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” These can be “worry-some” times, but God gives us hope for our future. Let me share with you, three good reasons not to worry.
First, God will supply all of your needs. One rainy morning as I got in my car on my way to church, I saw two birds singing on my plumeria tree and I said to myself, “How come they not worried?” No food bank, no job, storm coming, yet, they’re singing! If you have any doubts, the Bible says to look at the birds of the air and flowers of the field. As God cares for them, will He not care for you, too? (Matt. 6:26). Your kuleana (responsibility) is to simply “seek first His kingdom and his righteousness” (Matt. 6:33). God is your Source. He knows your needs and will be your provision.
Secondly, “worry” will never help you solve your problems. In fact, “worry” makes things worse. When “worry” gets in you, there are serious physical and spiritual consequences for you and if you’re not careful, it canl rob you of the peace, joy and contentment that you found when you trusted God. If worry starts to “creep” in your mind, PRAY! Take your concerns to God and invite Him into whatever situation you may be facing.
Last of all, “worry” promotes a lack of faith. If you worry, faith cannot do its job. Worry is a “joy sucker”! It robs us and confines us, but, as believers in Jesus Christ, IT SHOULD NEVER DEFINE US! Matthew 28:20 says that God is before you, walks beside you and stands behind you. You’re not holding His hand, He’s holding yours! How long?
The Bible says, He is with us to the “end of the age”. Don’t just speak faith, but, live it.
I want to encourage someone reading this devotional to trust God! Your miracle will depend on your ability to focus on Him, not only in times of difficulty, but, all times.
I’d like to close my time with you by encouraging someone reading this devotional to “smile” and practice a new greeting everyday. When someone asks how you’re doing, smile and answer them with joyful inspiration by saying, “I’M BLESSED!” because according to Romans 8:28, every day is a “good” day with God since He’s still working all things for the “good of those who love Him”. Good, bad, ugly or bitter, God has got it under control.
TRUST GOD AND NO WORRY! FOCUS ON HIM!
HE’S ALWAYS IN CHARGE!