Having God in your boat…

Having God in Your Boat
Gen. 3-1-9; Rom. 5:12-17

Having God in your boat doesn’t mean that you’ll not face any storms, that your dreams will not be broken, that you will not have devastating injuries, dreaded diseases, lose your job or your career, or your family will break up, it means that no storm, no broken dreams, no devastating injuries, dreaded disease, loss of career, or your broken family will not sink your board.  There is a Mr. Fixit who will walk with you in those storms; will mend your broken dreams as you walk in faith.  With faith in God, you will never walk along.

In olden days, every town had a “Mr. Fix-it.”   He was someone who mended broken toys, bicycles, glued together broken plates, repaired pots, pans, etc.   He could fix darn near anything.   All the kids in town knew Mr. Fix-it.  Today I want to introduce you to “Mr. Storm Walker – Jesus Christ.”

The definition of a dream:  thoughts, experiences or emotions seen in the mind’s eye during sleep; imagined things; optimistic visions; idealistic hopes.

In this rambling we are going to use the term dream to mean an optimistic vision or idealistic hope. Dreams are motivators.  Dreams are the stuff of progress.  Dreams are the forces that drive us onward and upward.

Young people dream a lot of optimistic dreams.  They develop a lot of idealistic hopes for the future.   Youth dream about what they will be when they grow up.  Some of them begin dreaming of becoming a doctor, a scientist, an astronaut, a nurse, a teacher, a banker, a salesperson, a computer expert, of owning their own construction company, owning a day-care business, of being governor or even president.  They may dream about any one of these for days or weeks, then move to another dream.  I remember going through that dream phase during my mid-childhood.  I dreamed of doing just about everything one could imagine. 

And they visualize what life will be like in a few years; they visualize a “dream” home that one day they will own.  Some have a “dream” automobile some day they will drive.  Some have a “dream” of the boy or girl they will marry; the “dream” family they will have, three kids and a dog.  The dreams can go on and on.

As we live life, we soon learn that NOT ALL OUR DREAMS COME TRUE.  Some of our dreams get squashed at the outset and never have a chance.  Some of our dreams are bruised, bent, and broken along the way in life. 

Few things can be as devastating as a broken dream.  Broken dreams can open wounds that are hard to heal.  Broken dreams can leave one so overwhelmed that he or she becomes numb and depressed.  Broken dreams can bring on the onset of devastating emotional and mental problems, health problems, relational problems, and more.

I recently read about a young man who had a dream to follow his father’s footsteps and become a firefighter.  His father was legend in the fire service.  The son had gone through the fire academy and was about three years into his career when we had a call to respond to a homeless shelter.  The fire was out of control quickly, firefighters were trying to get all of the residents out of the building while they attacked the fire.  In trying to get everyone out of the building, unfortunately the old building began to collapse; two firefighters were killed, the father, a close friend, and the young man legs were crushed, and he was crippled for life.  His whole life crumbled with the collapse of the building.  He lost his father in the fire, and his career ended.  His life dream was suddenly broken.    

Why are dreams broken?  Like it or not, we are in a struggle against unseen powers in the invisible realm – bigger than your dreams, more powerful than our resistance.  It all began when our first parents, Adam and Eve forgot how God had given directions for a happy life.  Adam was the original Dad and Eve the original Mom of the whole human race.  When they doubted and disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, a fatal flaw entered the family unit – SIN.   Every family since then has been affected by the fall.  You, your uncle John, your aunt Sally, the man down the street, the guy who lives on the other side of the world, and me have inherited from our great, great, great, (many times over) grandfather, Adam, a sin nature.

It was God’s original plan to make the human family a place of total love and acceptance that could build strong and whole people in a perfect world. That was God’s greatest dream.   In a sense, man’s sin broke God’s greatest dream. 

People everywhere are emotionally wounded by that broken family.  Now, all of us must live with a distorted image of marriage and family.  Adam and Eve had a good thing going as they fell in love in the Garden of Eden.  But something happened to break their dream; to destroy the peace and happiness and fulfillment they experienced in the Garden.   SIN was the thing that God and man’s dream was broken.  Shattered to pieces.  Destroyed everything that God and his creatures (man and woman) had built. 

Adam and Eve had a perfect marriage, they lived in a perfect place, they were completely taken care of in every way.  Then came the fall.   Sin entered the human heart, and today, many generations after the fall, sin continues to affect the lives of every man and woman on planet earth.  The result of the original sin [transferred down through the generations] is that people are prey to such dysfunctions as low self-esteem, loss of identity, sexual confusion, addictive behaviors, powerlessness, mental health problems, and a whole host of other serious disorders.

The faulty mind of man says, “Oh, well it’s just a little thing; I’ll just tell a little lie to get me out of this bind; I’ll just steal this little thing that looks so good to me; I’ll just cheat once; I’ll just be unfaithful to my spouse just this one time.   But the consequences go on and on and on.  Sin has consequences, every time, in all circumstances.  Sin has wages and the wage of sin is death. 

The Bible teaches that the only cure for our sin is a term called “salvation.”  However, the concept of salvation has lost its meaning to the culture at large today.   Salvation should mean the complete rescuing, healing, and empowering of our lives through accepting Jesus Christ as Lord of our life.   There is only ONE man who can mend our broken dreams – Jesus Christ.

When we accept Jesus by faith our sins are forgiven, and we are instantly made right with God – “Justified.”  Everything doesn’t suddenly become a new utopia, we still have storms, injuries, disease, financial problem, marital problems, and a bucket full of other problems, but when we place our faith in Jesus, he walks with us through all of those problems.  As I said earlier, we have a Storm Walker.

However, our minds must still be renewed or reprogramed in order that our minds might begin to function at their optimum level, as God created in the beginning.  This renewing or reprograming of the mind is part of God’s plan for redemption of sinful man.

To be saved means you are ready for eternity.  You are right with God.  You have been redeemed.  You have been adopted into God’s family.  You have been made an heir to the Kingdom of God, a joint heir with Jesus Christ, who through your adoption, has become your elder brother.  Wow!

Living with a mind that is filled with darkness, confusion, loss of identity, purposelessness, powerlessness, poor self-image, dysfunction, addictive behaviors was never meant for God’s plan for the humans.  Man created a mess for himself and all his offspring.  God created a plan to redeem man and his offspring in the person of Jesus Christ. The gospel of Jesus Christ speaks in the nitty-gritty details of man’s mess, and promises you a new mind which will empower you to live successfully as a person of purpose and power in the midst of a fallen world and even recapture your broken dreams.

Accepting Jesus is the most powerful first step we can take to undo the mess we’ve made of ourselves.  We must continue to walk in the path of renewing our minds so that we can grow into the powerful person God wants us to be.  God has a wonderful plan for your life. 

No matter how many dreams have been broken in our lives.  No matter what has gone wrong in our lives.  We cannot undo what we have done.  We cannot change the past.  However, remember this, today is the first day of the rest of your life.  Put your life in God’s hands today. God can mend those broken dreams and give joy unspeakable and full of glory by faith in Jesus Christ.

The young man I told you about earlier, the firefighter who was injured and lost his ability to continue as a firefighter, his life-dream was broken that could never be fixed. After some time of struggling, grieving, depression, and devastating emotional problems, he turned his condition over to God, allowed God to come aboard his stormy boat.  And through some bad circumstances of a friend, he took the friend’s young, spirited dog to take care of.  He took the dog to a fire scene with a friend, and while there it seems that the dog had a keen sense of smell to detect accelerant.  He went online and found out about an Accelerant Detection Canine Training Program.  He was told they normally had a one-year applicant list, however, someone cancelled, and he and his dog enrolled.  God made a way for the young man to continue working as a fire investigator with his Accelerant Detection dog.  He was never a firefighter again, but God gave him a ministry of helping others.  God doesn’t take away our storms, but when we allow Him to climb onboard our struggling boat, he will walk through the storms with us.  What a wonderful God!

Let us pray:

   God, we have all walked the path of broken dreams.  Some of our fondest dreams have been dashed to pieces on the hard anvil of fallen humanity.   We have suffered greatly from the consequences of sin, and we will, no doubt, suffer more as we journey through life.

   However, O Lord, we come to you here before your throne of grace, confessing our sin and repenting for the folly of our ways.  Dear God forgive us and give us the grace to turn toward you and your intentions for our lives.  Help us to recapture what our first parents lost in the Garden – peace with God, and wholeness and happiness.

Bless us today with your healing grace, your forgiving grace, your comforting grace, your strengthening grace, and your boldness grace to walk according to your purposeful life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


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