“Water, Water, Everywhere”
By Jim Jack
Drag boat racers would love to have water just about anywhere and everywhere they go, as they truly love the water. From the beginning, God decided that over three quarters of the earth would be covered by water. So He must love water too, and many activities that go along with water.
I love water too, but I like it at my discretion. I cover several races a year that involve racing on the water and it satisfies my desires to be around the water, especially in beautiful San Diego, CA when the IHBA drops in for four days of fun, fast fuel boats, and fabulous festivities.
At the IHBA race in Chowchilla, CA this year, yours truly walked into the water to baptize four IHBA racers in Berenda Reservoir. It was an exciting day to be at a drag boat lake, then step into the lake on a hot afternoon, serving the Lord by baptizing four believers desiring to follow the example of Jesus Christ in baptism.
In my opinion, drag boat racers who get baptized in a lake where they get to race have the best of both worlds … combining their favorite pastime with God’s favorite pastime … seeing His children being obedient to His holy commands.
Linda and I had decided not to go to Marble Falls this year and it was a difficult decision, but the end result was for the best. We were gone for three weeks prior to the Marble Falls race and when we got home, much to our surprise, and disappointment; our entire home was flooded with water. The Reverse Osmosis unit under the kitchen sink sprung a leak while we were gone and when we opened the front door there was water, water, everywhere.
I wish we could have parted the waters like Moses parted the Red Sea, and had dry ground (tile and carpet) to walk on, but that wasn’t the case. We worked feverishly for a few hours (thank God it was only 97 degrees that day) having to squeegee out the water and waiting for the plumber and clean-up people to arrive and start their process of drying out our home and moving out all of our belongings.
It was a real mess as much of our furniture and belongings were soaked, and ruined, and literally everything had to be removed for the process of cleaning, drying, demolition, and reconstruction to begin. What do you do in a situation like that? Just trust the Lord (and your insurance company) to take care of a serious situation.
Watching racers scream across the water is thrilling. Standing in an inch of water covering the floor in your home is chilling. Watching racers having fun at the track is quite a sight. Standing in a flooded house is quite a fright. Watching two boats racing side-by-side on the water is awesome. Standing side-by-side with your wife racing to get your entire house dry is gruesome.
That water-logged afternoon, some of our best friends called on the telephone to tell us that they were sitting on their boat in the water relaxing. I told them that we were standing in water but we weren’t relaxing, we were standing our ground in a wet (but not wild) situation with brooms in hand.
But you know what? God is good. Yes, He is even good in the bad situations of life. As they say, “stuff happens.” “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). Do I hear an Amen?
We are to seek God and His kingdom first and foremost. We are not to worry and fret over the little stuff. Trusting God is easier said than done, but that is what we must to do in any and every situation of life. We’ve all been through “stuff” and we’ll go through “stuff” again.
To spiritualize a situation like this, it helps to think about how God used water to flood the entire world to cleanse it from the wickedness that was running rampant at the time, and how God promised that He would never flood the entire world again. Water in and of itself can be a powerful source of sustaining life or a powerful source of destruction at the hands of “mother nature” … her bad side happens to be a left-over remnant of the fall.
Water is a necessary part of the equation to survive, as humans can only go so many days without water before our body dehydrates. Our water cooled body’s need this precious coolant running through our system, and likewise, we need the “life-giving” water that Jesus Christ provides to make it through this dry and barren land that eventually leads to eternity through Christ’s living water.
Water is precious in many ways. We drink it (got to have it), we wash with it (better do it), we swim in it (how refreshing), we race in it (the need for speed), and we’re baptized in it (obedience to the Lord). Baptism is a requirement of God. You’re not saved through baptism, but God wants “all” of His people to be baptized.
The Word of God tells us we must be sorry for our sins and turn from them and put our trust in Jesus Christ before we’re baptized. Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
Christ told His followers: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). Jesus Himself was baptized by John the Baptist. If the Son of God was baptized, then by all means we too should do likewise. “At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove” (Mark 1:9-10).
The Bible uses interesting illustrations to instruct us when we choose to let Jesus be Lord of our life. Some of those vivid pictures are that the old sinful nature dies (we’re crucified). We’re ready to receive a new life (after we’re buried). Christ gives us new life (after we’re resurrected). This is what being totally immersed in baptismal water means to the believer.
The waters of the Genesis flood symbolize what happens when we are baptized by the Spirit into Jesus. We are carried by Jesus through God’s devastating judgment on sin and are deposited by virtue of His resurrection in a fresh, new spiritual universe in which we are expected to live according to the will of God.
“So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land.
That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country” (Romans 6:1-7 MSG).
As many of you know, I’m a stickler for morning devotions (my quiet time with God every day). It’s interesting that since our little flood, my devotionals have been teaching about the trials in life. Even my devotionals for the upcoming month are focusing on life’s difficulties.
Charles Stanley (In Touch Ministries) wrote this in one of my recent devotions. “Though trials are painful, understanding the Lord’s purpose can bring joy and hope. Suffering is purposeful, and few things build character like sorrow. People rarely mature during pleasant times. Pain brings impurities to the surface and forces people to see the reality of their lives. Trials are a test of faith for believers. Tested faith is stronger and more reliable than untried faith. God allows hardship in order to reveal His character, love, and power. People who cling to their heavenly Father will find Him trustworthy and real.”
As for me and my house, we’ll stick with teaching, praying, baptizing, and attending the IHBA races around the country, rather than having to cleanup the “Centsless” mess in our house. This situation could have caused a “Domestic Disturbance” with floors “Slippery When Wet.” It could have been a “Nightmare” as it looked like our “Liquid Assets” were “Outa Control,” but the restoration people worked like a “Screaming Seaman” packing for the “High Noon Express,” and hopefully we’ll soon be back in our home again “Without A Trace” of any “Liquid Addiction.”