You will rarely find me in a boat or canoe. I cannot swim, so the prospect frightens me a lot. Yet here I was at a theological conference at a Bible camp and the other pastors wanted to go canoeing. Not cool.
I was paired with a more seasoned pastor and away we went. I nervously sat in the front of the canoe and watched as we strayed further and further from the shore. When we were about 50 yards or so out into the lake I heard his voice cautioning, "Mike, do not be alarmed. But you should know we are taking on water." He then let me know that he would keep me safe. Oddly, I have rarely been more comfortable on the water. There was no denial of potential troubles, only a promise to look out for me.
God never tells us there will not be troubles, only that we will be safe in God's care.
Almighty God, we thank you for your promise to walk with us and care for us. You do not remove us from the world, but instead walk with us in the midst of it. We may take on water, but it is only because we are flooded by your grace in the waters of baptism. Hold us in that promise. Into Christ we pray. Amen.
Luke 12:32-40 (NRSV)
32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
33 Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
35 "Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit;
36 be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks.
37 Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them.
38 If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
39 "But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.
40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour."