It’s hard to sort through your feelings when your future is hanging in the balance – literally! The 60,000 pound houseboat was loaded on the trailer and ready to be hauled out of the lake. A number of things could go wrong, so everyone waited, watched, and wondered. The creaking of the pontoons and the snapping of wood gave cause for concern, but once the boat was completely out of the water and inspected, it appeared as if no significant damage had been done. Step one: boat safely hauled out of the water. Complete!
I was a bit confused when John told me that the man inspecting the steel had gone around to all eighteen pontoons and pierced holes with a welding hammer. I realize that my nautical knowledge is somewhat limited, but even I know that boats and holes just don’t mix. John explained that those holes were strategic; they allowed the inspector to see what was inside the pontoons. We were grateful to find out that the steel was in good condition and only one of the pontoons held water. The water would be emptied out and the holes welded shut. Step two: inspect and fix the boat. Almost complete!
This process of inspecting our boat is a reminder that I also need to inspect and maintain my spiritual life. Psalm 139:23 says, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Much like the boat, God allows there to be holes and brokenness in my life, so that I can see what is on the inside. Those holes are the places I am the most vulnerable and weak. I can choose to allow the things of this world to creep in, but they will eventually weigh me down and cause me to sink. Or I can choose to empty myself of those things, and allow God to mend the broken places. Choosing God means staying afloat, because I am strengthened through this process. After all, God is the master welder. Step three: chasing God. Never complete!