Boats and “Hesed”

I LOVE to be on the water. Ever since I was born, I have lived near a body of water, whether it be a lake in Texas or the Atlantic Ocean in Portugal, or the Indian Ocean in Mozambique and Kenya.

And as much fun as it is to dip my feet into the cool waters and feel the waves rush over me, I find considerably more peace when I’m on a boat on top of the water. 
There is exhilaration beneath the surface of the waters- the cold water on your skin, the amazing world of fish and coral and crazy sea creatures, the vast power in the strength of the water. But I don’t live for exhilaration. I love it in small doses.


On top of the boat, I find security. I’m still surrounded by God’s creation, and I’m close enough to taste it, but I find myself relaxing into the calming waves rocking the boat, relishing in the breeze and warm sunshine on my face. That’s my favorite.
In life, God is the boat captain and he’s the anchor. He’s also in charge of the waves and the right amount of sunshine. He knows exactly what my soul needs and rejoices in. He is faithful to always keep me securely in Him.

However, anybody who has ever been on the water knows that not all days are relaxing, with gentle waves and sunshine. Some days the clouds roll in and the waves swell and the air is cool and tosses the chilly water onto my skin. On those days, I can choose to lose myself by focusing on my abilities to control my situation, or I can trust my boat captain, my anchor, and Creator of the seas and skies. 

“Hesed” refers to God’s loving kindness, and his commitment to the covenant He made with His children. His promise will never be broken. It is frequently associated with the attributes of strength, of steadfastness, and love. 
In God’s hesed, the promise is not for ease, for continuous days of sunny skies and gentle waves. Those days do come and I’m so thankful for them. Even on the difficult days, He provides a reminder of his compassion for us with a stunning sunrise- steadfast because of His faithfulness to provide one every morning, strength in its representation of filling the skies slowly with light, and love because it provides us with a way to see, and beauty in doing so. 

Recently, as I was struggling with God’s calling on me to teach my children at home, I felt a tugging on my spirit to focus on what good He has brought into our family through our obedience to this calling. Usually I make mental lists a mile long of what is NOT good and what is NOT working. So I started writing. The list of good was longer than I could have imagined. 

With each word that I wrote, I could feel myself clinging to the boat anchor, putting my trust and reassurance back into the steadfast strength and loving kindness of He who created me to be me, and called me to a season of my life where I feel a little small and underwhelmed by own strength. 

The result for that day and since then, is that I have felt a peace in my soul and seen less anger and frustration and guilt throughout our days. Even when the waves get rocky, as I cling to the Anchor, it doesn’t cause tumult in my own soul, which pours out in my attitude to those around me. 
God could choose to calm the waves around me. But they are a reminder that I will find more peace than I ever could have imagined when I trust in Him and his “hesed”, and let Him calm the storm in my heart, and bravely face the waves while trusting that He is in control. 

How has He shown you His “Hesed”?


Read more about Hesed at

8 thoughts on “Boats and “Hesed”

  1. Yes! Recently I’ve also been pondering the reality that He doesn’t promise ease in this life. He does guarantee that we will suffer. Such a hard reality. But He also promises His presence!!

    Gratitude journaling has been a lifeline for me in several seasons- I need to get back to it!

    He has shown His hesed for me lately in whatsapp! Recently learned I could connect with my BFF in Canada via voice chats and messages and it has been so sweet!!

  2. I’m feeling convicted…I need to make one of those lists. I’ve been teaching my kids for a while now and we’re on the downhill run now…but lately I’ve been kind of tired of teaching them and looking forward to when I don’t teach them anymore (I want them around, I just have been wanting to not be the teacher). So I need to make one of those lists…I know that the good will outweigh the bad.

    love the pictures, Maggie.

    (for Kelly above – hurray for Whatsapp!)

    1. I also pray for and look forward to the day that God provides a teacher so I can juggle one less responsibility. But for now, He has called me to handle that responsibility. Learning to be in the NOW, and not just in the future that I hope for.:)

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