In 2005 or 2006, I remember meeting at the lake for a church cook out. Hot dogs, hamburgers and all the fixings. It was a great day. We pitched horseshoes, played volleyball and, of course, swam in the lake. I will never forget swimming in the lake on that day. I will never forget because I almost made a really big mistake. Some of the church members were standing around talking and the youth group was out in the water. They were laughing and having a great time. I felt it would be pretty fun to swim out to where they were and, after being with them a bit, swim back.
I swam out to the group, but realized it was farther out than I thought. Once I got out to where they were, in my mind, I remember thinking, “I will never have the energy, or stamina, to get back to the beach area.” I continued to keep myself above the water as I thought about what I was going to do. I was using my energy as I was thinking. My legs and arms were tired. I was having to breathe pretty hard just to keep my head above the water. Plus, the youth had already swam back, and I was out in the water alone. I prayed that God would give me the strength to make it back. So, I began to swim. All along I thought, “I’m not going to make it.” My legs were beginning to burn. Finally, I made it back, vowing to never do that again. I continued to have a good time at the lake, but it was almost disastrous.
As many times as people go to the lake, I am sure we all have “lake stories”. The Bible even has some lake stories. One of my favorites is in Luke 5:1-11. (I’ll let you read it.) In this story, Jesus was being crowded by the people who were wanting to hear him. Jesus noticed how they were pushing against him, so he sees a boat and gets in it. The boat was Simon’s and Jesus said, “let’s go out into the water.” So they did, and Jesus began teaching from the boat.
When the people got back to their homes, I’m sure they began to tell the story of Jesus teaching from the boat with this phrase: “an interesting thing happened at the lake”. There are many interesting stories people can share about lake experiences. Over the month of September, I will preach a series of sermons entitled, “An Interesting Thing Happened at the Lake.” Stories of people becoming followers of Christ; a storm that had a purpose; seeing Jesus for who He really is and the importance of faith in our lives.
During this series I hope you can see that the lake can be more than just sunning and funning. Being at the lake can allow us to have some life changing experiences. I know it did for me. Until next week..
Peace and Blessings…Johnny