Praying for all those impacted by this devastating hurricane. Though the rough waters have surely come, we need not face them alone. Our God goes with us through whatever peril lies before us. Trusting Him today to see us through.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5 – NIV
Have you ever been whitewater rafting? I never tried the sport in my youth and as the years went by, I decided that my aging body did not deserve that level of risk exposure. However, once my son decided to become a river raft guide, I decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a whirl. In my 52nd year, I found my long past youthful body standing on the river bank, outfitted in a PFD (personal flotation device) wondering what I had gotten myself into.
Jonathan had assured me that I could do this. “Don’t worry, Mama, you ain’t coming out of this boat.” Looking at the rushing water before me, I hoped he was right.
Gathering our paddles, my cousins and I boarded the raft. Jonathan instructed me to sit directly in front of him at the back of the boat. After some instruction, we placed our paddles in the water and “pulled” as Jonathan called the strokes.
The water felt smooth and swift under the raft as we glided forward. The pace was pleasant, offering a chance to take in the magnificent views on either side of the river. “This isn’t so bad,” I thought.
Relaxing in my seat, I began to enjoy the scenery and the banter of family conversation. Things were moving along easily when I felt Jonathan tense up behind me, his voice taking on a commanding tone as he called the strokes. The rapids were coming. It was time to get prepared.
Having no idea what was coming, I did as I was told. Suddenly, a huge wave crested before us and the little boat went up in the air, slamming downward in a dramatic splash. The trouble was that when the boat had careened upward, so had I, my body lifting up out of my seat.
That’s when Jonathan sprang into action with the skill and precision of an experienced raft guide. In one smooth motion, Jonathan leaned forward and planted his left knee firmly behind my back. Hastily, he grabbbed my shoulder and shoved me back down into my seat, while simultaneously shoving his oar in the water. Taking a powerful stroke, he called for the rest of the crew to paddle two strokes hard. In less than ten seconds, he had assessed the situation, taken action, retrieved his wayward mother and set the boat back on its proper course. I was impressed. And thankful!
When the water was smooth, the journey was peaceful and it was easy to overlook the presence of our guide. Yet, when the rapids roared and our lives were in peril, we needed the presence of a well practiced guide to protect us and deliver us safely through the adversity.
As we journey down the river of life, we have an all powerful Guide in our boat. When the waters are easy, we often ignore His Presence, thinking we can manage just fine on our own. But when the rapids come and our boat is tossed to and fro, we search for that Guide, we pray that He will be with us in the boat.
It amazes me how patient God is with us. He is forgiving when we fail to pay Him attention in our times of relative ease. He does not hold our inattention against us, but waits for us to seek Him once more. He delights when we incline our heads and hearts in His direction. No matter the obstacles, our faithful Guide remains by our side, traversing the rough waters with us, His Hand on our shoulder, steadying us, that we might not fall into the raging rapids below.
Today, let us give thanks for the Guide who keeps us in the boat, who never leaves us nor forsakes us. May we turn and thank Him for His devotion to us and may we trust our futures to His guiding Hands.
In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.
Exodus 15:13 – NIV
O Gracious Father, thank you for Your Guiding Hand upon our lives. You journey with us, watching over us constantly, protecting and providing for us. Though the rough waters will still come into our lives, You stand ready to lead us through if we will only incline our heads and hearts toward Your still, small voice. Lord God, help us to lean in, to listen and heed Your commands. Forgive our inattention and help us to place all our trust in Your loving and guiding Hands.