Saturday, October 10, 2009

Our Very Own Life Jacket

While living in The Philippines from 1974-76, we planned a trip with a group of friends from the Christian Servicemen’s Center located near Clark Air Force Base. Part of our trip was a tour of Corregidor Island, where the US fought during WW II. As we prepared to go across the ocean channel to the island, I realized we were going to be traveling in a small native bunka boat! Bunka boats are very narrow with outriggers to balance the boat in the water. They are run by a very small motor, and are just big enough to hold a couple of people and the person guiding the boat. Because of my anxiety around water I grabbed a life jacket before getting in the boat. Our guide could not speak any English and looked to be about 16 yrs. old, but Joel reassured me that with everyone around us, we would be fine.

Our trip over was uneventful, and we were able to see where important events in history took place, but on the way home the motor on our bunka boat quit, we began drifting, and the boat started taking on water. Soon we were taking old cans kept in the bottom of the boat, and bailing out water as fast as we could while we watched the other boats move farther and farther away. I was very grateful for my life jacket as Joel and I prayed and bailed and prayed and bailed, while the young man tried to restart the motor. After about 10 minutes we looked up to see a boat coming back for us. Our boats were tied together by rope, and we were towed back to shore as we continued to bail water. What a relief to put our feet back on sandy soil again!

The other day I was thinking about Joel’s and my 41 years together and this story came to mind. I remembered just how many times God, Himself, has been our “life jacket”. He has brought us through many trials, and with His help we have been able to bail ourselves out of many ”sinking” situations. Often I have panicked like I did that day in the bunka boat, and I have desperately prayed for God to save us. Panic did nothing to help me then, but certainly God did. Panic does not help me in my daily life now either. It does not help any of us.

It is a comfort to know we each have our own life jacket to wear no matter where we find ourselves. God is always with us. He provides us with the strength we need to “bail” ourselves out of deep water. More than that, He often rescues us before we get into “sinking” situations, and we have no idea at the time! How blessed we are to be able to put our trust and security in Him as our “life jacket”. Trusting God replaces our panic with His everlasting peace.

***Please visit Charlotte and Ginger at http://www.bloggerspirit.blogspot.com/ to read more inspirational posts.

33 comments:

rcubes said...

Seems like the Lord is telling some of us and reminding us that He is always there for us, no matter what we are facing in this life. What an adventure you had! God bless and have a great weekend!

enchanting cottage said...

As you were telling this wonderful testimony on how God was in your life that day and everyday. Thank-you for sharing this today.
God Bless,
Ginger

Renee said...

Hi rcubes
Today I was really struggling with a time of panic over a health issue and this article I had written b/f seemed just right for me to share with others and a great reminder for myself.

Renee said...

thanks Ginger...God bless you too.

Charlotte said...

I love the analogy of the life jacket. I know what you mean. The Lord has bailed us out many times as well. I hope I am learning not to panic, but that is the natural human thing to do. Thank you for sharing your experience with us.
Blessings,
Charlotte

Saleslady371 said...

Renee:
What a beautifully written piece and I, too, am grateful for the lifejacket we have in Jesus in this world.

Mary said...

Every day with the Lord is an adventure...we never know where He's taking us...some beautiful, and some not so pretty, but He's always with us, holding onto us, whatever the trial. I pray your health issues are minor and that the Lord give you His peace. God bless you,
Mary

Denise said...

Such a precious testimony.

Renee said...

Hi Charlotte
It really is natural to panic isn't it! Sometimes panic saves our lives, other times it makes our lives miserable. Thank Heavens God is there for us at all times!

Renee said...

Thank you very much saleslady!

Renee said...

Thank you Mary for your encouragement and prayers!

Renee said...

Thank you Denise...

Lisa said...

He is indeed, a very present help in a time of trouble! Thank you for sharing with us!

Renee said...

Thank you Lisa.

Choosing Happiness said...

What a great message. I remind myself often to stay calm when my "boat" seems to be overflowing and to put my trust in God! Thank you for sharing your story!

jeanne said...

Today at church our sermon was all about testimony. Yours is a wonderful experience in faith that God was there for you then and now.

Thank you for sharing your story.

Blessings, Jeanne

Renee said...

Hi Choosing Happiness
Thank you for your comments....I am glad you enjoyed the message..

Renee said...

Hi Jeanne
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed my story.

Ms.Daisy said...

Hi Renee,
Wow! I can imagine how I would have panicked also if I had been in a sinking, drifting boat! Life is so much easier when we know that God is in control! Thanks for a really inspiring post today!


Blessings,
Jean

jeanne said...

Dear Renee, you write the most beautiful text. An inspiration to us all. The analogy of the life jacket is a good lesson as being bailed out by our Lord is a blessing. When we do panic, we must reach out with our faith that God is with us always.

Blessings, Jeanne

jeanne said...

Renee, I just wanted to mention that when I commented the first time on your post I was distracted and I was called away from reading your story in detail. I thought about it all day and came back to read it again. I am glad I did but I didn't want you to wonder why I commented again. You were on my mind all day. I just had to tell you.

Blessings and love, Jeanne

Regina, Philippines said...

Wonderful testimony of His protection!
Amen. A message of today.
Thank you for sharing.
Blessings
My "SPIRITUAL SUNDAY POST"

daylily777 said...

Hi Renee,
This is a wonderful teaching Post.
It is very relevant to me because for a great part of my life I have suffered from Panic and/or Anxiety Attacks . You are right panic helps nothing , but trusting & relying on the Lord is our real help. I hope today has been good for you . You made me smile when I read your birthday song . Thanks you so much for the well wishes , you have been a blessing to me today. 8~)
~Myrna

Renee said...

Hi Myrna
I have a daughter who has panic attacks at times, it is a difficult disorder to deal with...
I find it so easy for me to swing to the worst scenario, and God is so patient to wait for me to come to his feet~!

Glad you enjoyed the birthday song! It is a family tradition with us.

Renee said...

Thank you Choosing happiness!

Renee said...

Regina
Thank you so much!

Renee said...

Yesterday was a tough day for me, jeanne...just knowing I was in your thoughts tells me God was blessing me through others! He is such a loving God!

Renee said...

Yesterday was a tough day for me, jeanne...just knowing I was in your thoughts tells me God was blessing me through others! He is such a loving God!

Renee said...

You are welcome, Jean. Thanks for coming by.

Sharlotte said...

Good Morning...
I'm linking late...I'm so sorry, but I wanted to share the message from Sunday.

What a wonderful message! I've never thought of Jesus as a life jacket but it so very "fitting" {ha!} He comforts us, protects us, and even we we are being sinful, he still is watching over us and calls us to be his own. Thank you so much for sharing!

Here's my link if you'd like to visit for this week:

http://mssharlottessouthernreflections.blogspot.com/2009/10/courageous-generosity.html

Renee said...

Hi Sharlotte
Thanks for coming by and for your nice comments.

Jan Lyn said...

Great testimony and beautiful writing . I don't know what I'd do without a life jacket!

Renee said...

Thanks Jan Lyn...I feel the same way...need that life jacket with me at all times.