Same Storm, Different Boat

April 23, 2020

This week someone posted a Facebook entry that tore at my heart. It’s true. Check it out:

“I heard that ‘we are all in the same boat,’ but it's not like that. We are in the same storm, but not in the same boat. Your ship could be shipwrecked and mine might not be. Or vice versa.

For some, quarantine is optimal. A moment of reflection, of re-connection, easy, in flip flops, with a cocktail or coffee. For others, this is a desperate financial and family crisis. For some who live alone, they're facing endless loneliness. While for others it is peace, rest, and time with their mother, father, sons, and daughters.

With the $600 weekly increase in unemployment, some are bringing in more money to their households than when they were working. Others are working more hours for less money due to pay cuts or loss in sales. Some families of four just received $3,400 from the stimulus while other families of four saw $0. Some were concerned about getting a certain candy for Easter while others were concerned if there would be enough bread, milk, and eggs for the weekend.

Some want to go back to work because they don't qualify for unemployment and are running out of money. Others want to kill those who break the quarantine. Some are home spending two to three hours a day helping their child with online schooling while others are spending two to three hours a day educating their children on top of a ten- to twelve-hour workday.

Some have experienced near death from the virus, some have already lost someone from it, and some are not sure if their loved ones are going to make it. Others don't believe this is a big deal. Some have faith in God and expect miracles during this 2020 epidemic. Others say the worst is yet to come.

So, friends, we are not in the same boat. We are going through a time when our perceptions and needs are completely different. Each of us will emerge, in our own way, from this storm. It is very important to see beyond what is seen at first glance. Not just looking, actually seeing.

We are all on different ships during this storm, experiencing very different journeys.”

Some families in this storm are really, really struggling. Some families are struggling so much that abuse (physical, mental, emotional, verbal) have become part of it. Jesus doesn’t want that for you. Neither do we. If you are struggling at your house, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. Please call us and let us know. We will do whatever we can to help you. We want to be very present with you in this storm.

We all need to be sticking as close to Jesus as we can during this time. We are creating memories that will last forever—good or bad—and building the foundation for our children’s lives now, whether we want to be or not. Pray, and get the help you need. This can be a time you grow and get better as a family.

Great families encourage growth. They help each other develop. They encourage the uniqueness of each person. There are some things that you’re never going to learn if you don’t learn them in your family. You can’t learn them at school. You can’t learn them at work. You only can learn them in your family.

In fact, most adult issues and struggles come from the fact that the adult didn’t learn certain things correctly as a child. Here are five things you must learn from your family at a young age. Learning them later will be very difficult for you.

1. How to recognize, own, and deal with your feelings. Great families allow everyone to be honest and express their emotions without being penalized for it. They teach kids by example how to express emotions respectfully.

2. How to handle disagreements and conflict. Kids need to see their parents working problems out in front of them. They need to see grownups deal with differences without bad language, threats, and rejection, showing how to deal with differences in a healthy way.

3. How to handle loss. You don’t want your kids to win all the time.Rick Warren says, “When they get out in the real world and they face the inevitable losses, it will be devastating. They need to learn that failure won’t destroy them, that a loss isn’t the end of life.”

4. How to choose the values that matter most. It’s important to teach our kids the three basic temptations of life so they are not swayed by what the world values. The basic temptations of life surround how you feel, what you do, and what you get. Choosing poorly is tragic.

5. How to develop good habits. Habits determine our character. This is a great period of time to work together, pick up responsibilities and good habits, and help each other grow so that everyone’s character is more like Jesus Christ.

Jesus loves families. He loves them so much that he came to earth to live in a human family. He can help yours be great.

Let us know how we can help. We are in the boat together.