One of my favorite things about living on this boat, is how peaceful it is. Being still has never been an easy task for my type A personality, but it’s growing on me. I love sitting on my back patio first thing in the morning before the sun rises and late in the evening when it disappears behind the mountains. And though in these moments I am surrounded by darkness, I have never felt so much peace.
I feel peace, not because life is perfect, but because I can sense God’s presence all around me. My spirit is at rest, not because the waters are smooth, but because God is in control. I feel safe and protected even though the reality is I am surrounded by a very deep lake – and it can be a dangerous place. These past few weeks have taught us a thing or two about the risks of living aboard.
The first situation involved a fishing pole, a chair and an early morning swim. My eleven-year-old son Noah decided to go fishing the other day without permission. He wanted to catch the giant bass that had been hanging out behind the boat, but the only thing he caught that day was a cold. He never even had the opportunity to fish because his chair fell in the water. As he attempted to save the quickly sinking chair he dropped the fishing pole in too. He panicked and dove in after the items – fully clothed! Once I heard the commotion I rushed out to my soaking wet son and immediately launched into the, “Are you crazy? You could have drowned!” speech. Lake 1 Noah 0.
Our dogs, Max and Harley, have also had their fair share of trouble here at the lake. Max wanted to explore the marina while we were gone one afternoon and fell in the water. Our neighbors watched him swim underneath our pontoons and were afraid they would be unable to get to him. Luckily he continued to swim to the back of the boat where he rested his paws on the ladder and awaited rescue. Harley, his fearless sidekick, also needed rescued when he fell into the open engine compartment on the back deck. John couldn’t find Harley for a few minutes and we were afraid he also fell in the water, until we looked down into the open compartment and saw two little white eyes staring back at us. Lake 2 Dogs 0.
I can understand the kids and dogs being at risk as they learn their boundaries and test the waters, but I didn’t think I would have to worry about my husband. I was wrong. One morning, before the sun came up, John decided to take our ski boat out of the water on his own. Needless to say he misjudged the distance between the dock and the boat and he came crashing down. Luckily the boat broke his fall, unfortunately it also broke some things inside his leg and he couldn’t walk for weeks. Lake 1 John 0.
In the past, these situations would have given me so much anxiety I would have been packing my things and heading for dry ground. Instead we are dealing with the risks by putting safeguards in place, sticking together and trusting God. Like this lake that is filled with darkness when the sun goes down, this world can also be dark and dangerous, but we all have a choice. We can choose to focus on the threats that surround us, or we can fix our eyes on Jesus and trust that the sun will shine again tomorrow. Maybe that is why I enjoy the evenings on the lake, because I am learning to trust God even in the dark.