Devotional

The Lost Boat (23 October)

I am not afraid in times of danger when I am surrounded by enemies, by evil people who trust in their riches and boast of their great wealth. We can never redeem ourselves; we cannot pay God the price for our lives, because the payment for a human life is too great. What we could pay would never be enough to keep us from the grave, to let us live forever. . . . But God will rescue [redeem] me; he will save me from the power of death. Psalm 49:5-9, 15

The story is told of a boy who worked together with his father to make a boat. Together they planned exactly what it would look like, and then they went to buy the wood and glue and cloth and string. It was to be a beautiful sailboat. The father provided the knowhow and advice, but he let his son build the boat pretty much by himself.

After many days the boat was finally finished, and it was truly beautiful. The boy was proud of his work, and, of course, the father was proud of his son. The big day came when they would take the boat to the lake to sail it. They drove together in the car, and the boy set the boat out on the water. He had a string tied to it so that he could pull it back in.

They watched it in pride, and then the father went off for a short time to do some errands. While he was gone, a strong wind came up, and the string holding the boat broke. The boat was made so well, that it just sailed off on its own.

The boy was brokenhearted as he watched his boat disappear across the large lake. When the father returned, he tried to comfort his son and told him they could build another one. But the boy was too sad and did not want to think of making another boat.

One day, several weeks later, the boy was riding home from school on his bicycle. As he passed a shop, in the window he saw his very own boat, the one he had made. He rushed into the shop and excitedly told the shopkeeper, "That boat in the window is mine. I made it." The man smiled and said, "But now it is mine. I just bought it from a woman who said she had found it. If you want it, you will have to pay for it."

The boy was very sad. It was a lot of money. His father and the neighbors gave him jobs to do, and finally he saved enough money to buy the boat he had made. This boat was now his in two different ways. He had made it, but he had also bought it. He loved it very much.

In a similar way, God has shown how much he loves us. He made us for himself, but when we went our own way he bought us back at great cost. This is the meaning of redemption.

- 23 OCTOBER -

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