Sermon Illustrations

Lifted

The lift looked like some kind of futuristic interplanetary transport device. Driven under the power of an operator with a complex remote control, the boat lift hoisted Ed’s Miss Mickey, a 50’ Bertram out of the water. 60,000 pounds was no problem for the lift that is said to be able to handle almost twice that much. This crane moved the boat from the water to place in the middle of the Pensacola Boat Yard. Carefully, the sportfisher was backed into its spot where the keel braces were waiting. Supports were nudged into place to keep the massive boat from slipping side to side. The straps were dropped and the huge machine went back to its lair.

Boats aren’t meant to stand in gravel shipyards; they are meant to be in the water. On land they are completely helpless and immobile. Their outriggers and tuna tubes are useless in the boat yard. The boats that can roll with the biggest waves are pinned to the the ground like a bug in a 5th grader’s insect collection. Even so, it’s a necessary part of a boat’s life.

Some boats stay on a lift while others only get lifted occasionally. Little boats sometimes spend most of their time on lifts at the end of dock. You can see these boats cradled along the canals of Villa Venice and up and down the Sound. Other boats are so massive that it takes an expensive trip to the boatyard to get out of the water. It might only happen every few years, but it needs to be done.

Boats need to be lifted out of the water so that they can be improved and repaired. There’s some work that can only happen when a boat is helpless and out of the water. In the Miss Mickey case, a new transducer, zinc plates, shaft bearings, and hull maintenance were all being done. It’s a lot easier to work on the bottom of the boat when you can breathe!

Our lives often reflect the life of a boat. There are times when we get removed from our element and we can’t be our best. There are times when we need to be repaired and improved. There are times when being lifted up is exactly what we need.

Sometimes we are called to be the crane. Have you considered whose life you could bless by lifting them up? There are people in your circle right now who have been in the water for a long time. They need to come out of the proverbial water to get a dose of TLC from a friend just like you. Maybe that divorce has been going on so long that the hull of their heart is covered in the barnacles of resentment and bitterness. Maybe depression has weakened their resolve for a better future. That diagnosis might have knocked a hole right in the bow of their hope. Maybe you can be that lift that draws them out of the water and gives them time to be healed.

Sometimes we are called just to be supportive. Huge blocks of wood carry the weight of those 30 tons that normally is displaced by seven thousand gallons of seawater. Those blocks are joined by the jack stands placed on each side to keep the boat upright. Sometimes we are called to bear someone else’s burden. Sometimes we are called just to “stand up” for another. Galatians 6:2 instructs us to “Carry each other’s burdens” and when Moses was too tired to keep his arms raised, Aaron and Hur kept them up as they fought for their lives against the Amalekites (Exodus 17).

The next time you see a boat out of the water, think of someone you can lift up! Whenever you see a crane, take a moment to be encouraging to someone who needs you.

Love one. Love another.

Jack

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