Peace like a river?
I don’t know about you, but some of the rivers I have rafted could not be described as exactly peaceful. Of course the inflatable boat is always launched in a relatively calm section, but when you hear the roar of white water upstream, you know trouble is looming.
Isaiah 66:12, “For thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream.” KJV
WET AND COLD
They honestly admitted the dry suits would not necessarily keep us dry, then they proved it. Forty-two degree melted glacier water seeped in around our ankles and wrists as we waded into the swift current to demonstrate our ability to swim. A pre-requisite for rafting Six Mile Creek, we were we expected to swim two hundred yards. More importantly, we were required to pass “the test” – never, ever, ever try to stand up in the current. Of all the rivers I have rafted, only the guides of Six Mile Creek required participants to perform a test swim. Six people flunked and missed the ride.
HOW TO FLUNK
They flunked because they panicked and put their feet down. White water rafting is one of my favorite adrenaline-producing activities. I hope to do it again someday when I am strong enough to hold a paddle and hang on. The mild-mannered, yet rugged river guides know fighting the current in swift water is a critical mistake, especially if you fall out of the boat. We were instructed to put our feet up and let the current take us to the bank or another raft. Attempting to stand up is dangerous because of the possibility of wedging your foot, then the power of the water can pull you under and the search and rescue team will have to recover your body.
DON’T FIGHT THE CURRENT
Life is unpredictable. One minute I was relaxing and floating peacefully along taking in the scenery, the next minute I was paddling for my life. Three things are key to survival when the river plunges: wear your life jacket, listen to your guide and don’t fight the current if you fall in the water.
Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.” ASV
WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET
Six Mile Creek on the Kenai Peninsula near Anchorage rises over 300 feet in places and has an abundance of class V rapids. Don’t let the name creek fool you. This ain’t no kiddie ride. Not wearing a life jacket would likely be a death sentence. Yet how many people try to navigate the rough spots of life without a life saver? Personally, I would have drown in despair without Jesus Christ as my life preserver.
Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” NIV
LISTEN TO YOUR GUIDE
It seems we are either in a crisis, just coming out of a crisis or heading into a crisis. So what about this peace like a river? One important survival skill I use is to rely on what I know, not what I feel. I know what God says because I know what His word says. And I can promise you, I did not learn it in the swift current. I relied on it in crashing falls, but I discovered it in the gentle water.
Isaiah 26:3, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” ESV
I tend to be determined. If I want to do something, I just keep trying until I accomplish my goal. But with myasthenia gravis, the harder I push, the worse I get. It is hard to accept, but it would be harder not to accept. Since fighting the current is a hopeless cause, so I am going to put my feet up and float.
We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. Bonhoeffer
Exodus 14:14, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” NIV
I hope you are sailing in smooth waters. If so, take in the beauty of your surroundings and equip yourself with life-saving skills to survive the plunge over the falls. When you hit the inevitable rough waters, don’t fight the current. Hang on tight and listen to your guide to avoid drowning.
Psalm 29:11, “The Lord will give strength to His people; The Lord will bless His people with peace.” NKJV
If you are currently in a crisis, you might want to sign up to receive my Prescriptions for Anxiety. I would love to share them with you.
Personally, I am ready for peace like a tropical island. Anyone want to join me?
2 Thessalonians 3:16, “May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” HCSB