Learning the feel of having the outboard motor on the sailboat, where all the propulsion was from the very back of the boat rather than under it, proved to be just that for Ross, a challenge. The boat didn’t reverse and turn the same, requiring much more room to maneuver, and more help on the bow to make sure we didn’t knock into the boats around us as we tried to get the boat out of the slip.

The men had worked hard all day to get the motor mounted, and Elizabeth was excited to be a part of a maiden journey with the new engine. We motored out of the marina and out into Commencement Bay. The mountain radiated in all her beauty, and the orange sun burned bright, glowing actually, as it set in the west. The warm breeze washed across our faces as the Lord thrilled us with the blessing of His handiwork all around us.

The marine store had given some instructions to Ross for the first 20 hours of the motor. “Make sure you vary the rpms in those early hours to break it in slowly.” Following their direction, he decided to shift into reverse for a bit.




“Oh, NO, God! You can’t let this happen! Getting the boat ready for summer has been a black hole for cash, adding stress to my husband’s heart with all the loose ends and incomplete work. You provide the new engine, and now THIS?”

As he surveyed the engine, it appeared the gas line had gotten tangled up in the prop when he put it in reverse, line cut, no gas, no workey.

As we bob out in the middle of Commencement Bay, I am screaming inside.

“This is just not fair! What now?”

We almost call 911 for marine assist, but Ross has an idea.

The little motor, the 7.5 hp motor that never worked before and Jay and the guys rebuilt a few weeks earlier just so we’d have something for the grandkids to use to have fun with the dinghy.

Uhhhhh. Really? 7.5 hp is going to push a 15,000 pound boat across the bay and back into the marina?

Well, I guess we were going to find out.

Ross wasn’t sure if it would, but it was worth a try.

It started up on the first pull of the starter cord, which was minor miracle number one.

To be honest, at this point I was still pouting and whining to God…

“Why does it always have to be so hard?”

But it wasn’t long before I heard them start that itty bitty motor.

At first, movement was unperceivable. But then slowly, ever so slowly, the boat began to move.

That itty bitty motor actually began to push the mammoth boat towards home.

Funny how it is with our walk with God. Sometimes it just seems like we’re not getting anywhere at all. Growth is illusive. But God is at work even when it doesn’t feel it. That’s usually when I start pouting and whining.

It took a while, because we were probably motoring at about 1 mph… but that small engine brought us all the way back to our slip.

All I could do was shake my head in amazement at God’s continued loving provision and repent for my mini hissy-fit / bad attitude about the whole thing.

Things don’t always go the way we want. They don’t always go smoothly. It’s not always easy and fun and perfect. But God gives us plenty of opportunities to grow and change and see Him at work, even in the silly trials he allows.

I mean really.

It’s not like anyone was sick, or dying, or facing a major catastrophe in their lives. But the trials He allows, He will use to teach us more about Himself, if we’ll let Him.

I spent 12 years of my life thinking I had to muster up 25 horsepower faith and obedience in order to make an angry, judgmental God happy and secure my salvation, only to find out that was a complete lie. He loves me with an everlasting, fatherly, gracious love, and my salvation is secure in Him. It only takes faith the size of a mustard seed to see mountains moved, or a 7.5 hp Evinrude to move a 15,000 pound boat in this instance.

When all is said and done, He delights in allowing us to see His faithfulness in the little things…even the trials and challenges. After all, he did say,

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Look for part three this Thursday… more examples of God’s good gifts are coming fast and furious!

This blog was recently moved over from a different platform and all the comments were lost in the transition. Please feel free to comment or start up a new conversation as the Lord leads. I’d love to continue the conversation!

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