Tag: boat

Stay in the Boat!

I had been having a difficult time making a decision about an opportunity that came up.  Difficult because it involved something that I value highly and really want to do, but feel very inadequate and insecure about.

Are you ever faced with decisions like that?

choice-2692575_640I felt the Holy Spirit was leading me to move forward, in church and through the daily prayers I was working on.  But I also felt my fears holding me back.

Half awake and half asleep, a vision came to me that seemed to sum up my situation.

I am floating in a tube on a river. The water is choppy. I have come through dangerous Rapids and am feeling exhausted by the effort it took to stay afloat. I can hear the loud Rumblings of fast-moving water. Not one but two Mighty Rivers come together at a confluence up ahead of me. They feed into the river I’m on.

They could take me far very quickly but the ride would be dangerous and extremely rough with no guarantee that I would survive.

In this dream/vision I pondered what I should do:

tubing-3506869_6401 – I could get out of the river and camp on the side choosing not to move forward at all. And die there on the riverbank my Journey complete.

2 – I could get out of the water and hike up to the confluence watching the turbulent Waters come together. Maybe there would be a way to go around – there wasn’t.

3 – Or I could put my faith in God, the God who made the rivers and who sent me on this path and move forward into the ride of my life.

I do not think of myself as a risk-taker. Not with money. Not with emotional decisions.  And this involved both.

As God often does, I realized He had placed someone in my life who I could take to about this.  Miraculously,  in about an hour, we were speaking on the phone.

Eric listened to my situation.  And to my vision of floating down a river in a tube.  He loved the analogy since he’s a big white water rafting and adventure experience guy.  And he acknowledged that my fears were real and legitimate.  Then he turned my vision into a devotional for me, right then and there, and said “Now, I’m going to upgrade you!”

“You’re no longer sitting in an inner tube with a little penguin hat on, drifting at the whim of a river of life.”

God is the River. You’re already in Him!  And you will be all of your life.  You can trust The River!

life-raft-241789_640“And you are now in a White-Water Power Raft!  And you have a paddle.  And you have a Guide!” 

I said, “I get it, my guide is the Holy Spirit!” I was feeling more confident and excited about this River trip.

Eric said “Your job, Laura, is to: Stay in the boat, Paddle hard, and Listen to your Guide.”

He continued, “So there is no pulling the boat out of the River to sit on the side.  That is not an option.  Your Guide has a lot to show you downstream.  And He doesn’t want you to miss any of it.  He is there to make sure you make it down the River safely.”

“Plus you have a customer paddle, but your Guide has a much bigger paddle and can out-paddle you.  With that He will make sure you are headed where you need to be headed. You need only do what?” 

I answered, “Stay in the boat, Paddle hard, and Listen to my Guide!

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It feels good to have made a decision.  And to feel more confident that the Holy Spirit will continue to “course correct” if I can’t handle it all.

I am still both excited and scared. 

Odd how we can be afraid of failure and afraid of success at the same time.

Is there something you are feeling prompted to do?  Ask God to give you a dream or vision or some way of knowing you’re supposed to go forward.

Ask Him who He has put in your life to encourage you.

Your job, should you choose to accept it is:

Stay in the boat!

Paddle hard!

Listen to your Guide!! 

Go for it!

You CAN survive !

Sailing across the Sea of Galilee was an amazing experience.  When we got to the other side we visited the museum of a 2000-year old boat.

In 1986, two brothers discovered it when a severe drought lowered the water level of the Sea of Galilee.  This boat has been dated to the First Century AD.  It’s about twenty-six feet long and eight feet wide, and has been painstakingly preserved.  It is believed to be the kind of boat Jesus rode in.  It shows us, at least, what boats used for fishing and transportation across the lake were like then.

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So this boat is 2,000 years old.  Yet it survived!  It had not simply sunk, but had been buried in the sea floor – safe from where the minerals, plant and animal life and the erosive effects of the water’s currents could take its toll.  But why this boat?

Evidence suggests that it had a hard life – broken timbers had been reused; lots of repairs and patching were observed.  Yet it survived.

The use of twelve different wood types, and the types of repair jobs, suggests that its owner was a fisherman of meager means.  Yet it survived.

This vessel carried simple fishermen.  It took them where they needed to go.  It kept them afloat.  It provided a base from which they worked.  And it survived.  It may have even been used by the Jews in a battle against the Romans in 67 AD.  Yet it survived!

Think about it:

How many of us, like this boat, have had a hard life?

Been batted about by the waves of life.

Faced storms?

How many of us have experienced brokenness?

Been patched up?

Maybe we even have scars from past battles.

We too, are vessels.  As Christians, we are vessels of the Holy Spirit.  We too, may have been damaged and repaired.  We too, may be of “meager means.”  Yet we can be like that Ancient Galilean boat.  We too, can survive!

It wasn’t the fancy boat of a wealthy man.  It wasn’t a boat made of the strongest wood.  It wasn’t the biggest.  It wasn’t the best.  Why did it alone, survive?  Because it was a boat that God had a purpose for!

Do you know God’s purpose for you?

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He tells you in Jeremiah 29:11.  He knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.

Because God has a purpose for you, you can survive!

 

Whatever you are facing now, you can survive.

Whatever you have faced, you can survive.

Whatever you are about to face, you can survive.

Against all odds, because God has a plan for you, you can survive!

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I feel like a boat…

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Oh Lord

I feel like a boat

heading into a storm

fearful of what lies ahead

yet knowing I was built to withstand exactly this:

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the high winds

the deep swells

the powerful surges of waves

that will crash around me

and wash over me

and test the limits of the strength of my construction.

I know I was made, created, put together by the powerful hands of a carpenter who knew beforehand the purpose of my life, the places I would go, and the perils I would face. Knowing all this, the Carpenter lovingly chose the wood perfectly – to match the force of the stresses that would be brought against it. Because that is the mark of a good and wise carpenter.

And He carefully and meticulously fashioned my shape: my bow, my stern, my hull, masts, even my sails, to create exactly the boat He envisioned.

rough-sea-2624054_640The strength of a boat is only put to the test by the strength of the storms it battles and survives. We never know how strong the wood, the construction is, until it comes through a storm. The strength is there all the time. But the demonstration of that strength, is in the storm.

 

I don’t know my own strength. But my Carpenter knows. He made me. He crafted me. He built strength into me that will only be demonstrated by the storms I weather. So, with confidence, and faith, I will enter the darkness, the winds and waves, the rain and thunder and lightening. And I see my deliverance on the other side. Where the waters are calm. And the winds are favorable. And the sky is blue. And my Carpenter (who is my Creator, my Heavenly Father, my Savior, and my Lord) stands smiling. Because He knew all along.

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“The Lord is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…they will not sweep over you.” Isaiah 43:2