Made for Him and bought by Him

Made for Him and bought by Him

John had spent many Saturday afternoons in the garage building that boat. He had carved the hulk out of a solid block of wood, chiselling it out and sandpapering it. His mother had helped with the sails but he had a model and knew exactly what to do with the rigging. It was a beautiful model sailing ship and the best of it was that he had made it himself.

Now it was finished and it sat in state in the living room, admired by all. His father was particularly impressed. ‘I am proud of you for working so well with your hands, John’, he said. ‘What are you going to make next?’ But John had not thought about what to do next. His boat was enough for now.

It was a lovely spring day when he took the boat to the river to sail it and he headed for the best place – a little sandy beach hidden by the rushes where he had once found a moorhen’s nest. It was perfect sailing weather, windy but sunny, and as he launched his boat the breeze caught its sails and bore it out into the amber water of the current. He squatted at the edge and gave play to the string. In a few minutes he would move on, but first he would take time to admire the beauty of the boat. So absorbed was he, that he never heard the voices just behind him, and he jumped when three boys much older than he slid down the rushes and squatted beside him. He clutched the string tightly, for these were not boys he knew. ‘Here, give us a go’, said the oldest. ‘Well, only for a minute’, said John. ‘I’m about to pull her in’.

He felt nervous and alone, for these boys were much bigger than he. The biggest lad had already tugged the string from his hand and was hauling in the boat, pulling it over on its side and drenching its sails. As it approached the bank, John suddenly found himself tipped into a bed of nettles and rushes. His hands squelched in the soft mud and dirt flew into his eyes, blinding him momentarily. When at last he had struggled to his feet, there was neither boy nor boat to be seen –only the trampled weeds and the weeping willows. He scrambled up the bank but the boys had disappeared and he did not even know in which direction they had gone. There was nothing he could do. Besides, if he did catch them, he could not do much against the three of them, so he wiped his hands and turned for home. When his parents returned, his father set out at once to make enquiries, but no one in the locality had seen the three strange boys. John was very quiet at suppertime.His father offered to help him make another one, but John knew it would not be the same. He would never forget that first boat.

The weeks passed and John and his father made another boat and sailed it on the river but John did not forget the first one. Sometimes he would lie awake and remember the shine of the paint and the billowing of the sails and wonder where it had got to. One afternoon he cycled into town to buy a birthday present for his mother and having found what he wanted, he took a shortcut home through the narrow back streets. He loved the pokey little second-hand junk shops, and dawdled along gazing in at the windows. Suddenly he stopped dead, for there in the centre of a shop window, along with an old guitar and a brass coal scuttle,stood his boat.

Propping his bicycle against the wall, he burst into the shop. ‘That boat in the window’, he gasped. ‘It’s mine! I made it’. The little old shop-keeper looked at him over his spectacles. ‘On the contrary, young man, its mine. I bought it off some boys a couple of weeks ago. It’s not long been in the window’.

‘But I made it’, cried John. ‘It’s mine, it really is. Please give it to me’. ‘Not unless you pay the proper price for it’, said the shop-keeper. John realized he was going to have to get some money for his boat, and quickly too, as he was desperate to ensure no one else bought it in the meantime.He sped home, and there was his father, gardening. ‘Dad’, he shouted breathlessly. ‘May I borrow some money off you? I will work for it. I’ll clean the car, mow the lawn or do anything you want. But my boat is in the window of a second-hand shop in town, and I don’t want anyone else to buy it’.

His father sighed, thinking of his roses, then said, ‘Hop into the car. You can’t bring the boat home on your bike or you will mess up the rigging. Let’s go’.

The old shop-keeper was about to put up his shutters when John rushed to the shop. ‘I’ve got the money’, John shouted. ‘Please let me have my boat’. The old man chuckled.‘I’ll sell you my boat’, he replied,handing it over.

They drove home in silence, John examining his treasure. Only when they reached the gate did he speak. ‘You know, Dad’, he said, ‘I was thinking, this boat belongs to me twice now. I made it and I bought it.Isn’t that something?’ ‘Yes’, said his father with a twinkle in his eye. ‘All the more reason to take great care of it’.

In the same way, God created us for Himself, but we were snatched away by the devil, and began to live selfishly and disobediently, preferring to please ourselves and thus coming under the power and control of the devil. But God Himself sent His Son Jesus Christ into our world. He was crucified on the cross and there paid the penalty for sin with His own life. The ransom price to bring us back to the ownership of God was not silver and gold, but the blood of Jesus Christ God’s son. God redeemed all who believe on Jesus Christ there at the cross, and can therefore claim as His own all those who accept and trust in His Son. He can claim them as twice His own –made by Him and bought by Him. Is that true of you? You are not your own, ‘for you are bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s’. 1 Corinthians 6. 20, NKJV.