The Blessing Of Clear Sailing

Friday, June 21, 2013
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Listen while you read: "Nearer My God To Thee"1 (Lyrics)

Recently, the Lord brought to mind my experience of what I called at the time, "The Blessing of Clear Sailing". Beginning in 1999, throughout a 21-month regime of medical treatments requiring many long car rides, we travelled without difficulties, and my health improved beyond expectation. People from several churches as well as our extended family were praying for me.

From then on, if I knew of someone facing surgery or medical treatments, I prayed — asking for "clear sailing" for them.

I was reminded of "clear sailing" recently during my Bible reading, when I found the prayer of the unnamed servant whom Abraham sent to find a bride for Isaac.

Genesis 24:12 – "O Lord, God of my master Abraham," he prayed, "please give me success today, and show unfailing love to my master, Abraham." (NLT)

In asking God for success, the servant invited the Lord to demonstrate His unfailing love. The prayer honoured God as God, Who is love.

Intrigued by the idea of God-organized "success", I found that the Hebrew word translated "success" is "qarah", which looks like and almost rhymes with the English word "care". An online lexicon/dictionary of the Bible offers the following interpretations:

  • cause to meet
  • cause to happen this day
  • make opportune, convenient
  • lay beams or joists to make the beams to meet one another, hence to frame, to build
  • to be by chance, to happen
  • good speed (the King James Version translation)
  • go smoothly, make ends meet, God-speed (my paraphrases)

Boiled down, those meanings summarized my experience of "The Blessing of Clear Sailing". Broaden the application, expand our trust in God's love, and "Aha!" — we can ask for "qarah" at any time about all things pertaining to life and godliness.

Now, I deliberately ask for "qarah" in my prayers. If what I experienced as "The Blessing of Clear Sailing" fourteen years ago is available for the asking, and if God demonstrates His unfailing love with answers to prayer requests for "qarah", I want it in abundance for myself and everyone. I'm sure that you do, too!

These days, asking and thanking God for "qarah" is as much a part of my daily prayers as including the phrase, "Give us this day, our daily bread", from the Lord's Prayer.

Prayer: Father in heaven, You love us with a mysterious, generous tenderness, far exceeding our finite understanding. You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Way to come boldly to You for mercy and help. May we know the serenity of trusting in You, mixed with the joy found in seeing Your "qarah" in our lives. Remind us to ask You, in the name of Christ, for "qarah", and then to give You thanks for blessed opportunities, convenience, success, God-speed, good happenstance, and evidence of the loving care You provide. Amen.

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About the author:

Pat Bell <>
Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wonderful reminder, Pat.

    A very interesting perspective. Thank you Pat!
    MAy you always live with “qarah”.

    Pat, ‘qarah’ be to you this day and always. Loved the explanation you gave. Will add this to my prayers for everyone. Blessings.

    Pat, I really like the term “Clear Sailing”. I hope you are doing well and today’s devotional brings cause to think about “Clear Sailing”.

    Pat, thank you and that`s a new word for me. Again I enjoyed what you shared today. I hope to remember that word in my prayers also. May God continue to bless you and I and others as He does.

    Dear Pat,
    Thank you for your devotional.
    Special thanks for the whole prayer.

    A wonderful devotional and I know a lot of people on this site and the churches around our town have been praying for qarah for my wife as we fight this battle with cancer.
    Thank you for a new word to use in my prayers for her and others.

    Dear Pat,
    May God grant you qarah in all you do too.

    Dear Pat,
    Your devotional today was personally very meaningful – God knows it’s exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you for sharing this insightful and inspiring message.

    Wow! I absolutely love this! God speed to you and to all for whom you pray – and all for whom I too am praying. I love pictures and this is a great one to help express the deep groaning, yearning inside me when I’m trying to pray well for all the different people and situations that are in my mind/heart each morning. It seems to take longer and longer, but with a word like God speed, grant us/them success etc. one can cover more ground and name more people in the limited time one has each morning. Thanks so much Pat.

    Dear Pat,
    Thank you very much for today’s devotion. I could not believe it when I read your devotion this morning.
    It is like God is telling me I too will have “The Blessing of Clear Sailing.” Thursday night I watched the Oral Robert’s Place of Miracle hour on TV and Lindsay Roberts preached on Genesis 24:12 and talked about the Hebrew
    word “qarah” also.
    God Bless you.

    Hi Pat,
    Only today did I get to read your devotional that had so much meaning to me. Early next month I have my
    interview with the a Hip and Joint Clinic as I need a revision of my hip replacement. Hopefully they will be able to do the surgery before Christmas. I shall be needing large doses of qara as I’ve had several operations in the past few years.

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