Daily Devotion: Get in Sync with God

A summer kayaking trip delivers a powerful spiritual lesson.

By Sharon Hinck, Bloomington, Minnesota

As appeared in

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us.”  John 17:20–23 (NKJV)

No, no! Right! Pull right!” my husband said, a little out of breath and uncharacteristically exasperated. I glared back over my shoulder. “I am going right.” Both our paddles splashed an impressive amount of water, but our two-person kayak swung slowly to face upstream again—the opposite way we wanted to go.

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Downstream, a beautiful secluded river invited us to explore.The other kayaking teams disappeared around a bend.  My husband and  I kept going in circles. The river was peaceful. We had no white water to blame, no trouble with equipment. We just weren’t coordinating our strokes.

How often has God desired to steer me in a new direction, toward something beautiful? Yet my frantic efforts kept me paddling in circles, often rowing against His strength.

During times when Christ has asked me to head in a new direction, I’ve read the verse above and thought that His yoke feels far from light. Maybe that’s because I was pulling in the wrong direction. Oh, I expend a lot of energy. But just like on the river that day, my arms tire and my kayak makes no progress.

Once my husband and I were in sync, the current became our friend and the work of pulling the kayak through the water felt effortless.When I allow God to steer the direction of my life instead of stubbornly setting my own course, I’m able to feel the power of His arms doing the hard work.

Lord, where are You steering me today? Teach me to spend my effort rowing in the same direction, instead of pushing against Your will.

Sharon Hinck is a wife and a mother of four, who loves spending mornings—and all day—with Jesus. She has a master of arts in communications and her award-winning novels explore ordinary women on extraordinary faith journeys. Sharon welcomes visitors to her Web site at sharonhinck.com.