What I’m Learning by Claudia Duff

When my husband enlisted in the Navy I bought a shirt that proclaimed for all to see, “Navy Wife – The Toughest Job In The Navy.” After 23 years of faithful service that shirt retired right alongside my husband. In many ways, it was a retirement for me too.


Lots of friends and family gathered to celebrate his career. Too my surprise, I wept like a baby. Unlike my husband, I wasn’t ready to retire from the Navy.


I loved the details of our military life. My alarm clock was Bravo Company screaming a cadence as they ran past our house every morning at O’dark-thirty. And if I slept through that, I was still good to go because they shot the cannon at daybreak on the parade field.


I heard stories about life after retirement, and I wasn’t impressed. At all.


But, retirement came and we moved into the civilian world without a job or a home. Struggling with the loss of our military identity and life, I had one of two choices. I could raise the white flag of surrender, giving into despair, or I could “nail my colours to the mast” and fight fear!


Well, I’m no quitter; I got out my hammer and nails and went to work nailing stuff!


He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters. He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me. . . but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me. –-Psalm 18:16-19 (ESV)


What I’m Learning

When the captain of a battle ship shouted, “Nail the colours to the mast,” the crew knew there would be no surrender. You see, to fly the white flag of surrender you first had to “Strike The Colours” of the ship.


But, when the colours are nailed to the mast, those colours ain’t coming down. Ever.


Fight until victory or to fight until death: nailing the colours was a declaration to fight. It is the same with our lives as believers. In every battle, on every difficult day, we can give in to the enemy or we can stand and fight. The choice is ours.


In Psalm 18, we see David’s deliverance from just another day of being chased by his enemies. Everyday deliverance is what we need as well. Using Psalm 18 as my hammer and nails, I fight fear as I take my stand on God’s promises.

  • The civilian world is my broad placeBam.
  • Fear is my enemy and I will not give in. Bam.
  • Uncertainty is my many waters, but God IS with me. Bam.
  • The favor of God is my rescue. Bam.


With each swing of my hammer of resolve, God meets me in this passage. With a shifting perspective, I see daily life is an opportunity to see the glory of God and the good for our family, Supported by God, my fear departs with each nail of faith.


This year in Planting Roots we are “All In!” Join us as we consistently lay it all on the altar. Every fear, every place of doubt, anything and everything that could possibly hinder our growth in and service to Jesus–we are all in.


How I’m Learning

Personalize God’s Word: Praying through this passage, I personalize these verses to my situation. How does this verse relate to my life? What is my current enemy? Where is my broad place? What is my many waters? What do I need to believe about God based on these verses? God’s promises are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. David could experience God as his support and so can we.


All In

Go all in rather than give in.

Is there a feeling, situation, or need tempting you to give into fear? Fight for faith with courage and conviction by believing God’s promises. Don’t surrender to fear. Pick up your hammer and nail your intentions into the faithfulness of God.


Pray About It

Lord, help me to identify the hindrances keeping me from “Nailing My Colours To The Mast!” I surrender to Your will and Your way. Give me the courage to stand and fight! Today, I’m all in, Lord!

Taking it Deeper

Join us on Periscope Mondays at 4 pm EST, where we’ll be talking more about Bible reading and drawing near to God. In today’s broadcast, Ginger will be sharing practical tips for going all in rather than giving in.


Claudia Duff is a writer and speaker, assisting with events at Planting Roots. Totally in love with Jesus, she delights in sharing God’s His Word. Married to her high school sweetheart Daryl for the past 30+ years, she has 3 adult children and one precious grandgirl.



This post is part of our Monday Minute with God Link Up. We’d love to have you join us!


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