Just When You Think Your Ducks Are Safe

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Now listen, you who say, 
“Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, 
carry on business and make money.” 
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. 
What is your life? 
You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 
Instead, you ought to say, 
“If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 
As it is, you boast and brag. 
All such boasting is evil

There I am with my ducks lined up. 
I am starting to think that all things are possible. 

I'm so busy looking at my ducks and lining them up, 
I don't realize my downward gaze. 
My shortsightedness. 
Well, they were lining up nicely. 
Until suddenly someone came and blew those little ducks right out of the water. 
I am standing, soaking wet feeling silly for my foolishness. 
Humbled in a moment.
 Why must it always come again and again to this? 
And there I am longing for heaven, right in the midst of the mess. 
Wondering how the messes seem to mold themselves into
 the perfect storm for the season of my life. 
I forget. 
Oh, I despise that I forget His promises in an instant.
 Forget He is sleeping just below deck. 
And I am watching the waves and cursing the storm, all to my shame.
 He rises and rebukes the wind and the waves, 
yet I am not so easily calmed.

Because ducks are supposed to line up, right?

Then I realize I have been so busy planning that it is 
Wednesday when I am reading my Monday devotional and dumbfounded, 
I read the words...

"You will not find my peace engaging in excessive planning: 
attempting to control what will happen to you in the future. 
That is a commonly practiced form of unbelief. "
~ Sarah Young in Jesus Calling

I sit straight, the words stinging me upright.
I absorb the blow.
Am awed and humbled.
I have been planning and lining up my ducks and missing something.
Unprepared, though He wanted to prepare me
 in my quiet time for the storm brewing, 
unknown to me.
The Eye of that storm Sunday, settled over our home by Tuesday 
and I was taken by surprise.
Because I was busy with my ducks. 
How they were lining up so nicely.
Now they seem so insignificant really.

Because the Maker of ducks and me, 
really is in the business of lining up the ducks just right.

And sometimes when I am lining them up, 
He needs to blow them right out of the water to set them aright.

I want it to be easier.
I want it to be neat.
I want those ducks in a row.

I want the peace that comes from my planning.
I want the security of seeing my ducks in a row.

Yet I know it cannot be so.

Because I am not guaranteed tomorrow.
And sometimes ducks are distracting.

So I lift my gaze to the one who has ducks, 
storms and all in the palm of His hand.

He leads me again and again lately to Psalm 121.
It's as if He is really asking me to own it in my heart.
That I might truly believe from my core that which I profess. 

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
 My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

Oh, Lord I know better.
Forgive my unbelief.
 Perfect love casts out fear. 
Help me believe where I doubt.
You are faithful.
You are perfect. You are love.
Lord, help me to trust You, in the weak places, 
where I rely on self instead of your grace.
May you help each one today who is trusting in anything 
else but your grace, to be free of that which hinders them
whether, doubt, fear or unbelief. 
In Jesus Name. Amen. 


  1. Praying with you as you get your ducks back together again...there is always a light at the end of the tunnel...a silver lining to every cloud...God is with you in the midst of your struggle, whatever it may be. Keep focused on HIM, the Author and Finisher of your faith. Don't look at the swirling eddies surrounding you (and your ducks) in the pond. Let Him guide you to the rocks just under the surface that will give you the stepping stones you need to get back to safe harbor. Trust, Hope, and Obey. There IS no other way. Holding you up in my prayers today.

    1. Pam, thanks for being such a faithful bloggy friend. Appreciate your thoughts, words and prayers!

  2. "Because the Maker of ducks and me,
    really is in the business of lining up the ducks just right."

    Simple and priceless. I always forget too! Thanks for the reminder :).

    1. My pleasure. He is in the business of reminding me. Repeatedly. I just freely share what I'm given. Thanks for dropping in and commenting!

  3. So many lines in this I loved. Just loved the whole thing:)
    Glad I found you through the linky party.

  4. I agree with Kristin. So many beautiful words. You really have a gift through Him.

    1. Anything worth remembering or that is worthy, I know is Him in me, Ashley.

  5. What a great post. I'm just the opposite, really: a big, unplanned, unscheduled mess. I'm trying to get myself together...

    1. Brandee, there must be a balance which He himself will help us find! He is certainly in the balance for us and with us!

  6. Utterly brilliant post. Also good for those of us who feel that if we just put more into the planning then more would be happening.

    1. Martha,
      I know it is good to plan, but the question needs to be asked. How much of our hope and trust is being placed in our plans/planning instead of in Him. I agree that it is a slippery slope as well to think as you say- it also leads us away from confidence in Him, grace and truth. A good point!
      Thankfully He is patient and faithful to correct us! ;)

  7. Dawn - what a great perspective and insight! One of your 1st lines caught me: " I'm so busy looking at my ducks and lining them up, I don't realize my downward gaze." and then the Jesus Calling devotional was the kicker. Thanks beyond words for sharing this today. God knew I needed it! (just posted a blog on how God kept yanking me away from myself this week!)

    Here's to an upward gaze together today!! Hugs, Michelle

  8. Hi Dawn,

    Sorry for your Sunday and Tuesday storms, but I'm thankful for this ducks in a row thought this morning. Thanks, Dawn.

    Hopping over from the Imperfect Prose and Scribing the Journey link ups.

    Jennifer Dougan

  9. Our help truly does come from the Lord. He has control of the ducks!
    Your words inspired me today since I also try to keep my ducks in a row at all cost. I am challenged to remind myself that if one gets out of line God has control of that one as well.
    Great writing!

  10. oh girl. life can be so humbling can't it? just when we think we have it all together, he comes along and blows our ducks out of the water, like you said... i love your teachable spirit.


walk along the shore with me and leave your footprints in the sand-
I'm listening, friend...in November I will not be replying so often, but instead slip quietly over to your place for a visit. ;)