The boys and I ventured on the water, testing our new paddleboards for the first time. The sun was hot, the water was calm, a few too many mosquitos, but overall, it was a perfect day for a float. The boys went ahead of me paddling and taking turns jumping into the water, as I went along the shoreline. We had not a care in the world, it was a perfect Montana summer day. We made it to a small island on the far side of the reservoir, when the wind started to quicken. It seemed to come out of nowhere and was not on our side, only pushing against us backwards. I yelled to my boys to paddle hard and not stop! Instantly, they started to panic, and Oliver, for a short moment, even paddled backwards and was disoriented and nervous. Both boys were yelling, “mom, we can’t paddle against the wind, it’s too hard!” I turned my board around and paddled to them. When I got there, the only option I had was to tie my extra shirt to both boards and connect us. Oliver paddled on the right, I paddled on the left, and George held on in the water while kicking his feet singing, “we made a Rodewald boat, we made a Rodewald boat!” Before we knew it, we were safely back to shore in one piece, with a memory, and a sigh of relief.
If I had not gone back to help the boys, I’m not sure they would have made it back to shore safely. In that moment, we had to work together, each using our own strength not just for ourselves, but to help each other. In that moment, they needed something that I could offer at that time. Is this not the same thing that God asks us to do with other believers in Christ?
“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” (Ephesians 4:14-16)
In this very passage of scripture, I picture my boys not being able to withstand the wind as they were being “blown here and there.” What if I turned a blind eye, and chose to keep paddling to shore? They could figure it out themselves, Right? If that was the choice I made, I could be named worse mom of the year, and my boys would suffer from it. How often in our walk as Christians do we, “turn a blind eye” hoping they figure it out in the meantime? How often do we point our finger and say, “oh that’s too bad that’s happening, they better figure it out.” Yet isn’t this why to each is given gifts and strengths to help the body of Christ?
“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13).
God is a God of unity, not compromise, that is why, in love, I came back to help my boys with the strength that I had in that moment, to work together because I love them, and I don’t want the waves of the world to toss them here and there. We are all one in Christ and to each is given a gift to help edify and build up the body. We need Christian people to help other Christian people to join with them, help them, encourage them, love them, fight for them, stand with them, and when we see the waves of the world coming against, we throw them a lifebuoy and pull them back to the heart of the Father. We are family, let us help our brothers and sisters in the faith, not for it is right, but because above all else, we love.