In high school I took two Spanish classes. I cannot say I learned to speak Spanish. I did, however, learn my teacher liked chocolate covered ants and she accidentally killed a baby bunny by warming it in the microwave after she found it in the snow one winter. I cannot meet a person in Mexico and hold a conversation with them. I cannot travel to Germany and function in society. I cannot minister to a Chinese speaking person, or tell someone in Russia that Jesus loves them. However, Jesus can speak every language. He can speak every experience. He can speak every culture, and he is more than willing to meet us on our own turf. You may not understand my love of the ocean or my experience in agriculture, but Jesus does, so that’s how he communicates with me. He can communicate with you in a way that’s lovingly and specifically tailored just for you. After all, he knows you best!
As I got up to pray one morning, I got my coffee, sat down and bowed my head. Soon after I closed my eyes, I saw myself in a little wooden dinghy; a single mast sailboat with a rudder and no motor. I sat back in my little boat, closed my eyes, and waited patiently. I reminded myself I have no control over when the wind blows, which direction it comes from or how strong it blows. Before long, my little sail started fluttering, then filled, propelling my little boat swiftly forward. I opened my eyes and grabbed the rudder. That’s when I got an amazing surprise!
My little wooden dinghy had become a brand new, small, white catamaran with a single mast! I looked around, and I was in the ocean surrounded by thousands of sailboats! Many were personal crafts like mine. Many were 20-40 foot boats with many sails. Some were extremely large catamarans with towering masts that touched the sky, and had crews on deck! There were even some really neat wooden pirate-looking ships!
We were all travelling the same direction and the same strong, crisp ocean wind filled our sails. Sailboats dotted the ocean as far as I could see! There were times when my little catamaran would slow down, but when the wind sped me up again the neighboring sailors were watching and cheering for me. There were times when large cannon balls would fall from the sky and take out a boat. However, the neighboring boats would pick up the stranded men and women, and bring them on board.
The Holy Spirit helped me to know this is what life following Jesus looks like. Jesus is the living water that keeps our boat afloat. Each of us is on our own journey supported by each other and our willingness to steer. The wind of the Holy Spirit powers us; he alone. We do not have the ability to power ourselves. Occasionally we lose power, but we have to wait patiently for it to return, and be ready when it does. We must not jump ship. Some of our callings, our journeys have been injured or destroyed by enemy attacks, but we are not alone. We can continue the race if we accept the help presented to us.
As I prayed in the Spirit, I focused on this image. When I got distracted I stopped, focused on this image again and then started praying again. I let myself be imperfect in my prayers. I let myself be a small catamaran, and I feel better than I have in many days.
In [the ark] only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also—not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a clear conscience toward God.
1 Peter 3:20-21
This is beautiful. God indeed understand every heart He creates.
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