It was July Fourth in the summer of 2014 and some of our church family, including our worship team (the Gospel Mule), decided to climb aboard a pontoon boat and join the parade on Jackson Lake. I am quite certain there is a weight capacity that goes along with a pontoon boat but whoever would consider that limit I do not know. What I do know is when someone offers the opportunity to play music… on a boat… in a parade… and sing about Jesus…well you can count me in. I mean, what could go wrong, right?
There were about 12 people on this boat with instruments such as a guitar, bass guitar, fiddle, banjo and a set of drums, along with two speakers, a bass amp, a mixing board, and a generator to provide the power.
The boat sat a little lower in the water than usual but no big deal, really.
That is until a sporty little speed boat shot in about 20 feet in front of us, turned around sharply, and peeled right on out of there, thus creating a vacuum of water that was conveniently located where the front of the boat could dive on into. And so it did, and I could feel the weight shifting downward towards the front of the boat while our floating drummer (Darrin), who was in the very front, gathered his drums in the water.
As this escapade happened, there were many boats that corralled around us, as this was surely the most exciting thing happening on the lake at the time. My ankles were catching some water, but I had already lifted my amp up to the seat and was holding my bass in the air, searching for the right boat nearby that I could toss it to.
There were others, like Jeremiah (my brother) unplugging instruments, and Mike (my dad), leaping over two people and a bench seat to turn off the generator so we don’t get fried.
Meanwhile, our boat driver was attempting to keep us from sinking entirely. Someone hollered out from one of the other boats (someone with experience on this dramatic situation perhaps?); “Throw it in reverse!” And that is exactly what our driver did; and just before the, motor was completely out of the water, the propeller was able to grip the water and pull us out of the swirling hole that we had so quickly nosed into. Cheers rang from around the lake as we celebrated with songs giving God the glory!
Isaiah 41:10 says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, and I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Certainly, there many circumstances, situations, and even seasons of times where we feel uncertain of outcomes, insecure of our safety, or afraid of the results of our actions or the actions of others. Sometimes, we feel like our boat is sinking…and it may be. However, let us remember the God who is in control, for God also says in Judges 6:8-9, “…I brought you up from Egypt out of the house of bondage; and I delivered you out of the hands of the Egyptians and out of all the hands that oppressed you…”
There are many other examples in the Bible where God reminds us of His strength, love, and care for us. God tells us from His own lips that He is able. God shows us with His own hands that He will deliver us. God has also demonstrated the depth of His love for us that not only will He make our enemies His footstool, but He will sacrifice His only Son to do it. He wants us to know that we can trust Him with everything, and through everything, because He is able.
As we have celebrated our great nation this week, perhaps we are reminded that there is still uncertainty in regards to the security of our nation, or maybe some of us are concerned about certain decisions being made in our country; it is easy to feel like we are all in the boat together and we can feel the water nipping at our heels when the boat his heavy and burdened.
However, let us remember the God in whom we trust. Our nation was built on His foundation, and He continues to work in our nation today.
Let us remember how God has delivered us as a nation in miraculous ways time and time again. Even when it seems that our boat is sinking, He throws it in reverse and pulls us out, and there are always witnesses world-wide who see His glory.
Let us celebrate what He has brought us through, and that we can trust Him. I Thank God for the United States of America! In God We Trust.
Isaac Redman is a 22-year-old youth pastor at Pleasant Grove Church. He is a servant of Christ and loves music and the outdoors