Against The Wind

Posted by on Jan 7, 2013 in Blog, Virtue | 2 comments

Several years ago my family went on a trip to the Boundary Waters in Minnesota.  It wasn’t the first time our family had gone there, but it may have been the last time our entire family would go together.

The uniqueness of this trip was on our way out to our chosen island and our way back to the homeland we canoed against the wind.  I’m sure we only canoed a few miles or so, but in the midst of the journey it felt like an eternity.  It was difficult both mentally and physically.

I remember being partnered up with my youngest brother, Jeff.  He was quite young at the time and neither one of us had the muscle strength or the canoe skills to keep our canoe going in a straight path. So my dad decided that we would switch partners.  My dad would canoe with my youngest brother and my mom would go with me.  My mom and I had the same problem.  Our canoe would swerve to the right and then swerve to the left.  The wind was very strong which made the current strong as well.  We were all over the place. So my dad decided that he would tie the two canoes together. We continued on our path back to the loading dock, but our swerving back and forth continued, however this time the swerving wasn’t as wide.  We were always drawn back to the center because we were attached to my dad’s canoe.

Several hours passed as we canoed, trying desperately to end the journey that we were on.  How could we have wind going out and coming back in?  How were we ever going to get to our destination and still be sane?  Why can’t this wind stop?  Why are none of us strong enough to go against the wind?  Why can’t we keep the straight path?

Eventually, we made our destination.  The challenge was over and we were greeted with the best Mt. Dew I think I have ever drunk.  Our family made it home.  I’m sure my muscles hurt for a week, but there was something very satisfying about going through that tough canoe experience.  Sure we were all over the place but there was something comforting about being tied to my dad’s canoe.  I knew that we couldn’t end up turning all the way around and going in the opposite direction.  I knew that we would eventually make it back to our destination.  I knew that amidst the difficulty we needed to just keep going.  If we didn’t keep going we would end up going the opposite direction.

Sometimes in life we face trials and tribulations that are against the wind.  The ground seems rocky and unstable.  The trial seems like an eternity away from being over.  The tribulation seems too difficult to continue and we just want to give up knowing that it will just turn us around.  The confusion and the lack of understanding have us lost and frustrated.  We ask why would I keep going if everything seems stacked against me?  What’s the point, you might ask.

But when we tie our selves to a solid source, Jesus Christ, although we may rock back and forth we can continue going on the straight path.  We are desperately asking questions and trying to find solutions to our trials but Jesus is looking for us to depend on him to get us through the trial.   In fact, he allows us to go through trials so that we might be strengthened.

I made a decision in that canoe in Boundary Waters that cold spring day.  The decision to keep going regardless of my circumstances I was facing.  I have since been in many other trials that have challenged me to make a similar decision.  I continue to make a decision to keep going.  I don’t want to be all turned around.

I never got my answers to my questions that day or to many other trials, but it doesn’t matter.  Those answers didn’t help me reach my destination.  Trials make us stronger.  In the midst of them we all have a choice to make.  Will we keep going and seek help in a solid source, Jesus, or will we get frustrated, give up and end up going in the direction the wind wants to take us?  The choice is ours!

Some verses to encourage your journey through trials:

John 16:33; Romans 11:33-36; Romans 15:13; 1 Corinthians 1:27-30; 2 Corinthians 1: 3-5; Hebrews 12: 1-12; Hebrews 13:6; James 1:1-4


  1. Emilie this was a very inspiring read. It lifted me up and inspires me to keep going. My husband and I are currently looking into permanent custody or guardianship of my 8 month old grandbaby. He’s been living with us since day one. I just wanted to be a Nana not a mommy again. But he’s the most important thing in our lives. Thank You. 🙂

  2. I didn’t know you were starting this! That was quite a difficult trip…one I won’t forget either! Thanks for your thoughts.

Submit a Comment