Often God uses ordinary things to encourage and inspire us. Years ago, I experienced a seemingly insignificant moment that has stuck with me ever since.
One morning, as I was driving over a bridge and past the docks in a Seattle area inlet, one of the large boats caught my eye. It was of average color, and no more amply endowed with equipment as the other fishing and crabbing vessels nearby. What drew my attention was its name, cleanly and boldly displayed in a strong Times New Roman or similar typeface on one end of the ship: RESOLUTE.
The ship’s moniker could have been chosen to make clear the stalwart determination of the captain and the tenacity of the crew in overcoming squalls and angry waves to fill the holding tanks, surviving season after season of sleep deprivation and aching muscles. Providing food for the masses while making enough profit so that the sacrifices are worth it. Or perhaps the name was a reminder of victory over a personal challenge, and to sail onward in hope and strength through whatever comes, knowing after making it through that, they can survive just about anything.
What It Means To Me
Resolute to me is simply another way of saying that one is committed, sure, purposeful, steady, persistent, immovable, “all-in”, faithful, often with a steely determination, and usually related to a belief or decision. Holding on and not wavering from one’s prescribed path. Never giving up.
To say someone is resolute carries with it a deep element of courage and strength. At its best, being resolute means holding true to my belief or decision, remaining undeterred even in the face of great obstacles. At its worst, it is stubborn and unyielding. Knowing when and if to quit trying, pursuing, and so forth isn’t always easy. Also, unfortunately, we can be resolute for the wrong reason, or hurt others by not speaking the truth in love.
Being resolute looks different for everyone, and varies according to circumstances. It can be quietly steadfast, stoic, even gritting our teeth against unimaginable pain. In competition, it is bursting with excitement, every muscle poised to carry out the strategy, determined to conquer or win. It can be light and hopeful, reaching for goals such as New Year’s resolutions with a positive outlook, committed to bettering our lives.
The word “resolute” isn’t used as often as its cousins “resolution” and “resolve”; it seems to have fallen out of favor, especially in this growing age of moral relativism. Making decisions and sticking to them is dangerous at times. Not everyone will like what we do. But that’s another post!
For me, I am happily resolute, though the waters have not always been as calm as those in the picture above. Yet it is for that very reason, having survived several of life’s storms and coming out stronger, that I can’t help but thank the Lord for His transforming grace, love, and mercy in my life. God’s faithfulness helps me remain resolute as I look to the future with much peace and hope, joyfully trusting Him to continue leading. That is the feeling that “hooked me” when I first spied that ship, and what still steers my course today. Here’s a poem I wrote about being resolute:
Such uncertain future,
but sure of His deep love.
Peace lifts my tired soul
as I fully gaze above.
When flood waters rise
I’m tempted to shrink back,
but I trust in His provision
for the things that we lack.
Recalling past blessings
in the face of great need;
The belief that survives
is the one that I feed.
I look forward in faith,
clinging to the hope I find
midst the fierce storm
and the battle in my mind.
Through prayer and Word
God’s strength will sustain
to weather life’s torrents,
resolute through the rain.
Over the years since that first sighting in Washington, whenever crossing that bridge I would scan the docks for that boat, and smile. Though no longer residing in that part of the Pacific Northwest, whenever I catch a glimpse of a boat, the memory and the encouragement remain.
May this post encourage you to be more resolute in trusting the Lord through life’s storms. He may not rescue you from them, but He has promised to always be with you through them. The struggles may last longer than our own strength can get us past, and we may stumble, but as long as we keep getting back up, keep trying, and claiming God’s promises, we can overcome the impossible.
Speaking of overcoming, check out this awesome song:
Overcomer – by Mandisa
(Note: Link will open in new window.)
God’s Word On Resolute
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“…In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Be strong and courageous! Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:9
Run so as to win the race! 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Inwardly we are being renewed day by day! 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58
We will reap a harvest if we don’t give up! Galatians 6:9
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