Getting Out of the Boat
Jun 28, 2020 | by Nancy Newbrough
I was not a biker until I met my husband. God orchestrated our lives to come together for the most incredible journey ever! Following God is not always easy nor is His plan the one we might have chosen. But He WILL take you on the most amazing adventures ... if you follow Him. You will go places and do things that only God gets you through by His Grace and Mercy.
We married late in life, my first -- but not his. My husband was an avid biker; I had not ridden. He was a new Christian whom God had brought out of a tough biker world; I was raised in a Godly home where Christ was the center.
Around the mid-90’s, God began placing Christian bikers in his path. By early 2000, he chose to be surrounded by them and began riding just with them. Once his heart belonged to Jesus, he became a part of their International organization that ministers to bikers of all kinds. Their motto is “Changing the World One Heart at a Time.” Shortly after we married, I also committed to the organization that takes the love and light of Jesus to bikers.
I vividly remember one Sunday morning in church when God very specifically spoke to each of us – separately. Our Sunday School Class was studying a book -- “If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out Of The Boat.” God had been dealing with both of us through this study. This particular morning, God laid on each of our hearts that He wanted us to go to “hard core” rallies to serve Him and bring His Light and Love to the bikers. Really, God? You cannot be serious! You just brought my husband out of that! Will Satan pull him back in? How can I ever relate to that type of person?
But we knew it was God directing us as He had spoken separately to each of us. “How can I ever be used there?” kept ringing in my head. “How could I go to such places and look upon unspeakable things I had never seen nor dealt with before?” We prayed and prayed and prayed -- and close friends and mentors prayed. God kept calling. Were we willing to walk on water and make a difference for Him -- or choose to play it safe and do our own thing?
God kept gently confirming that He would lead the way and never leave or forsake us. I knew my life was changed forever the day we said a scared but resounding “YES” to God. He kept bringing Scriptures to my mind:
“’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord Your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31: 6
So we started going to secular rallies. During the first several years, almost every weekend from May through September, we were at a different rally in various states. We went as the hands and feet of Christ, looking for every opportunity to show His Love. It took time and returning to the same rallies before the bikers began to trust us. We worked alongside others in our ministry providing and preparing meals, lending helping hands, befriending the lonely, praying with and for many.
I put together “Women’s Bags,” praying over each one and as prompted by God, giving them out and praying with each recipient. Many times my husband conducted Sunday Morning Services. He also performed weddings, funerals and memorial services and some called him their “Preacher.” We also traveled to visit bikers who were sick, praying with them and their families. The promoters of the rallies trusted our ministry and trusted us. We would do whatever was asked and many times worked the gate/registration which provided the opportunity to meet bikers as they arrived!
I wish I could report a tremendous impact for God, but He does not always let us see the fruits of our labor for Him. Sometimes it is just a word or a smile that makes a difference. As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:6, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but only God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” Our prayer is that we have planted seeds of God’s love and watered seeds that others planted. We could not have gone or had any impact if others were not at home praying as we went! What we do know is that God will reap a harvest in due time. His Kingdom is growing “one heart at a time” as we go where He leads and do what He asks -- to be His love and light to a lost and dying world. To walk on water, we have to get out of the boat, keep our eyes on Him and trust His Hand!
And we know that in all things God works
for the good of those who love him, who
have been called according to his purpose.