Foil Boats

June 13, 2020 by Jenny Young (Gauteng, South Africa)
A simple foil boat

Jenny's grandchildren sailing foil boats
on a puddle

It is now almost nine years since Zachary died. Since then, our son and daughter-in-law in New Zealand have had three wonderful children who keep my daughter-in-law very busy! We have air tickets to visit them at the end of November but now, with the Covid-19 pandemic and the world-wide closing of borders, we have no idea whether that will happen.

However, we are fortunate to be sharing a property with our daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren here in South Africa. We are in the granny cottage on the property, and they live in the house. So we are all in lockdown together, which is a great blessing. I get to spend an hour with my grandchildren every day, baking or doing crafts or Granny Science.

One day, near the beginning of lockdown, it had been raining all morning. We decided to make foil boats and sail them on puddles for our Granny Science activity. The plan was to investigate different sizes and placement of sails but we never really got that far. First, our big puddle had dried up by the afternoon, so the kids had tremendous fun filling it up again with buckets while wearing their roller blades. Eventually they got the puddle big enough to sail boats on. Then, naturally, the wind didn’t co-operate and the boats sailed wherever they pleased.

This reminded me of the verse that says, “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves” (Psalm 127:1-2, NIV).

We often think we are in control, but we’re not. The farmer can plant seeds, but unless God sends rain, nothing will grow. Boat-builders can build beautiful sailing vessels, but unless God sends wind, they are useless. Without the physical laws God put in place at the foundation of the universe, nothing would work.

In this time of lockdown, one of our many anxieties is the fact that we feel helpless. Things are out of control, and we have no idea what the future holds. The fact is, we have always been helpless. The control we thought we had over events and plans is only grace that God has given us to work together with God.

It is comforting to know that even though we don’t know what the future holds—just like I don’t know if we will be flying to New Zealand at the end of November or not—we do know the God who holds the future.  We know that God is good, and we know that God loves us.

My prayer:

Father God, I entrust my future to you, knowing that you are able to work all things together for good to those who love you and are called according to your purposes. Amen.

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The Upper Room magazine's mission is to provide a practical way to listen to scripture, connect with believers around the world, and spend time with God each day.

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