So I went white water rafting for my first time ever ta couple of weekends ago!! Undoubtedly one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had! And ever-so graciously, The Lord spoke to me on this trip. Guys, I was terrified. I mean, when the man was giving us our preparatory talk and telling us all the things to do if we fall out or are in danger, I was quite close to running out of the room and spending the day in the cabins while everyone else went. We were going on 5 scale rapids!! When I say we went white water rafting, we went white water rafting haha!
We had a guide of course, but for all I knew he wouldn’t be able to steer us away from the even slightest possibility of death; not trying to sound overly dramatic, but that’s how I felt. It just wasn’t a good idea to begin with for me to even try to take on such a daunting trip. I did not trust him. However, I went anyway, and what I learned was incredibly beautiful. Our guide knew the Gauley river like the back of his hand! I was blown away with how, before each rapid we approached, he could tell us the dangerous parts and the parts we were trying to avoid and exactly how we would do it. The first few times I thought in my head “there’s no way” especially because we were a boat full of people who were obviously not as qualified as our guide, nor had some of us ever even been white water rafting! Miraculously though, just by simply listening to his cues as to when we were supposed to stroke forward, backward, and for how long, we were one of the few boats to make it through the whole four hour trip without losing one soul or getting into any serious danger. I couldn’t believe it!
Lets think about this, even when we messed up, because of his wisdom and knowledge of the Gauley river, Mr. Dave already had plan B, C, and D planned to get us through safely. His guidance and confidence was unshakeable! My apologies to Dave, but I realize that mistrust overtakes me more often than I would like. I think it does for all of us, especially when we are being drawn out to those uncharted waters that seem as if the only destination to the journey is defeat and perhaps even great loss. But, no. I do not want to think and be this way. We should never think this way. Especially when we have such a wise and loving Father as our guide.
There will be things in life that The Lord will lead you to that will require you to listen, to trust, and to be still even through the craziness and adventure. We simply don’t know everything nor should we expect to ever feel fully prepared to step into what The Lord has called us to. That’s not the point of our relationship with Him. He wants to hone you into a deeply rooted trust, love and adoration for Him. Do you think He fears those waters that hold so many unknown distresses to you? Beloved, our Heavenly Father goes before us, comes after as, and at the same time stands beside us. Just as Mr. Dave in our boat, He knows every rapid and every danger. He has scouted out the journey and is filled with a greater knowing of what lies ahead than you ever will. How great is that! He longs to bring you through whatever it is that is giving you anxiety and unrest.
At one point in our trip, our boat got stuck on a rock in one of the trickiest rapids. We all lunged to one side of the boat so we wouldn’t flip. Oh dear, I was grasping so hard for safety. Haha, and you know what, Mr. Dave was calm, cool, and collected. He gave us instruction without any hesitation. We were able to smoothly unlatch from the rock and continued on our journey with shrills of laughter and the feeling of pure victory! Sometimes, I understand, it is hard to discern which way God wants us to go next or even how to go there. But with His grace, such extraordinary grace, He is sufficient enough to bring us back to where He wants us. I do not believe God throws His hands up in defeat and confusion when we take the wrong route. He already knows plan B, C, D… all of them! Haha!! How awe-inspiring!! How sweet it is to know that our greatest mistakes and failures have no precedence over the greater purpose and plan our King has over our lives. Shake off your fear and find a love for the journey!
Traveling on that raft with my awesome friends and incredible guide, I realized that it is vital to listen to instruction. The best that you know how, listen to the whispers (or maybe even shouts) of our God as He guides you through your journey. Danger creeps in when you stop listening. The moment our ears were distracted from Dave, we often were a little late in moving when he said to. In these times, Dave often had to bring us through plan B rather than A. God is bigger than where we fall short, but we still must pay for the consequences of our actions. When we slip from His presence, we leave room for distraction and the enemy to divert us from God’s plans over our lives. Let His truth guide you and His favor find you even in the most difficult rapids of life.
“For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.” (Psalm 48:14 NIV)