In His Wakes is about to kick off its 2017 A Day to Remember tour. This will mark the ministry’s fifteenth year of bringing victory, hope, and purpose to at-risk youth across the nation through the avenue of water sports. It will be our family’s eleventh year directing the ministry’s events. Without a doubt, we’ve witnessed God’s provision and hand of protection as we’ve traveled tens of thousands of miles to host hundreds of events. It’s been an amazing journey, but it hasn’t been without challenges. It just always seems there’s one thing after another, trying to stop us in our tracks. This year was no different—we didn’t even get on the road before we were knee deep in mud.
I was pulling the motor home out of storage to prepare it for the season when our 40,000 pound “rolling house” sank deep into the soft ground. The wheels spun in the mud as I pressed on the accelerator. Frustrated, I turned my attention to the ministry’s Ski Nautique boat. I pulled the boat cover off and, for the first time ever, there was mildew. We live in dry central Oregon, so this was not expected.
Often, people think we live a glamorous, rock-star lifestyle. After all, we roll through the country going from one event to the next in a beautiful motor home, pulling an incredible boat. We even get to spend our days teaching kids to water-ski. I suppose I would think the same thing at first glance. But the truth is, there is little glamour to the job. I actually feel more like a “roadie” as I set up events, drive for long hours, and stay covered in grease, oil, and dirt.
Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do…but it’s not always easy climbing in the motor home to head down the road for the next event, knowing there will be hard work ahead and possible trials. It’s only through a continual renewing of my mind and a constant reminding of myself that I can only do this through the power of the Holy Spirit that I am able to keep moving forward. My wife and co-roadie, Ivy, has to do the same.
According to Romans 12:2, when I renew my mind, God transforms me. He actually makes me into a new person as I change the way I think. I also come to better understand God’s will, which is good, pleasing, and perfect. I don’t know about you, but when I’m covered in mud and growing more frustrated by the minute, I need new thoughts. I need to become a new man.
Renewing my mind only happens when I make a conscious choice to fill my mind with God’s proclamations and use His truth to drive away any negative thoughts. There are scriptures for every circumstance we encounter in life. Google “God’s proclamations,” and you’ll see it’s true! It won’t always be easy, but as you find those scriptures, meditate on them, and pray them over your life, you’ll find you’ll have the strength to face all sorts of things.
One thing that helps me renew my mind is to stay thankful in tough times—like when the motor home is stuck and the boat is covered in mildew. Or when the sewage pump blows on the motor home. It also helps to surround myself with other believers who value the Word of God.
I have a choice: I can set my mind on the lies of the enemy and become overwhelmed by trying situations, or I can stay focused on the good things of God. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, to tempt me to take my focus off my purpose and off God. But God comes to give me life and to help me in my time of need (John 10:10). I choose to stay focused on God. You have a choice too!
When I renew my mind it looks something like this: As I scrub mildew off the boat’s upholstery and dig mud out from under the motor home, I say, “Thank You, Lord, for this amazing boat we get to use to bring heaven to Earth for so many people. Thank You for the Nautique boat company and their generosity to supply us with boats. Thank You for this motor home that takes us to each event so that we can share Your love—the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank You for the donors who provide the funds to keep us rolling down the highway. Thank You for the volunteers who help us carry out Your vision and for the kids we get to show Your love to on the water and shore.”
Then I start to pray scripture. “Lord, You say that You are my help and my strength. You promise that the same power that brought Jesus from the dead lives in me. Therefore, I have all the power I need, including the strength to dig out motor homes and scrub away mildew. You say I can mount up with wings like an eagle when my mind is set on You! You renew me and I thank You that I will not be overtaken by this trial. My hope is in You.”
When I purposely focus on the Word of God with a thankful heart, I become a new man. I become renewed in my thinking and am given the strength and the power to face whatever comes my way with courage, peace, and joy.
I don’t know what you’re facing or what thing you are digging yourself out from under. I just want to say, don’t be discouraged. Instead, focus your mind on the love of God and the Word of God. Those two things alone will keep you moving down life’s highway and renew you.
Written by Nate Miller
Photo by Vlad Deep