Riding the Rapids©

I’m out of sorts these days.  Entering the workforce after 25 years of being at home will do that to a person.  I find myself constantly stunned at this fork in the road that showed up out of nowhere. The verse in Proverbs pretty much sums it up.  “A man makes his plans but God orders his steps.”  In my wildest dreams I would not have imagined things to happen the way they did.  I find myself wondering if God sat back waiting in anticipation to unveil His surprise.  He does seem to enjoy unexpected unveilings and “just at the right moment” rescues.

I’ve never been too good with uncertainty.  You won’t find me watching many action packed thrillers.  I will always ride the carousel over the roller coaster.  I love solving puzzles and reconciling bank statements.  I prefer to have a plan with an alternate plan in mind.  I would choose a rowboat instead of a canoe on a mountain river any day of the week..though I learned much on my one ride down the rapids.

We had been married just a few months when good friends invited us to take our canoe out on the rapids of the Chattahoochee.  I was used to lakes and slow-moving rivers.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  My husband an avid kayaker was accustomed to more intense waters, the more the rushing the more the thrill.  He assured me this would be a calm, fun ride.

I boarded the canoe and prepared for my first trip down a mountain river.   I knew enough to know when to paddle and that was about it.  Most of the trip was uneventful and enjoyable, that is until we came upon a10 ft. water fall.  Suddenly I wanted out.

I was told we would paddle to the river bank, portage out and carry the canoes down.  I didn’t have a clue what that meant. The noise of the water pounded in my ears.  What if we didn’t make?  I couldn’t risk it.  I insisted that my husband let me get out of the canoe in the middle of the river to walk my way over.  There was no way I was going down that waterfall.

He let me out, paddled over to the side and got out of his canoe.  I began my trek across the rocks.  Immediately my feet began slipping.  The stones were covered in moss, leaving me unable to walk across.  There I was stuck in the middle of the river because of my own fear.  I begged him to come back and get me. He got back in the canoe, paddled back over, told me to get in and do exactly what He said.  I did.  We reached the side and carried our canoe down past the waterfall to enter the water again.

I learned to listen and to trust him for the remainder of the ride.

Fear often gets the best of me.  It’s easy to allow the feelings of instability and insecurity to move me into control.  Control tries to convince me that I am safe. Yet the truth is control only leaves me stuck in the river, unable to move.  It convinces me that I can trust myself more than I can trust God.   Because I do not trust God to take care of things, I must.

There came an opportunity in Peter’s life that no human being had ever experienced. Jesus invited him out.   He was the only disciple in the boat who was willing to ask.   He trusted Jesus to do something extraordinary with him.  He stepped out to walk on water.

Everything was going great until he looked around and allowed fear to invade him. Immediately he lost sight of his trust in Jesus and began to sink.  Fear stole the confidence that had minutes before mounted up inside Peter inviting him out to the adventure of a lifetime.

It all begins with trust.  Trust removes the need for control.  Control is based on what we can do, while trust is based on what He does.

He is the God of the unpredictable.   He invites me to trust  not in the what I see Him doing but in the nature of who He is.  I find myself there again these days in this new path I now walk.  Will I trust Him in this adventure to sort it all out?  He is after all the God of surprise endings.  Maybe I’ll get to watch that Red Sea part after all.

©copyrighted:  2011, Julie L. Todd



10 thoughts on “Riding the Rapids©

  1. Astonishing!! Truly!!!

    “Fear often gets the best of me. It’s easy to allow the feelings of instability and insecurity to move me into control. Control tries to convince me that I am safe. Yet the truth is control only leaves me stuck in the river, unable to move. It convinces me that I can trust myself more than I can trust God. Because I do not trust God to take care of things, I must.”

    We must be related, you and I 🙂

    I want to trust. Most of my conceptions of the Father had (has) to be replaced with His Truth before I could (can) see He was (is) even trustworthy. He’s still workin’ on me. And I’m grateful to have met you on this journey! A wonderful teacher you are!

    • Yes, dear friend, we are related…. 🙂 God knit our hearts together!!!

      I see Him replacing those misconceptions one by one with you. It is sheer beauty…. much like a rose slowly opening up to full bloom. Just stunning…

      So blessed to be here with you!

  2. Julie, what a beautiful illustration on trust. I am so glad God sees the big picture and guides me when I can’t see what is up ahead. I will be praying for you in this new turn in the journey of your life. Blessings!

  3. Mercy, Sister! This was so descriptive and I definitely saw myself and was reminded again by you to look at God’s nature and not what I see Him doing or not doing. I ask myself too often: “How am I going to _______?” forgetting that He is my supply. How I pray that the control monster in me will die and I will learn to trust Him and His plan…

    Thanks for this excellent post!

    • My dear sister, So blessed that you are here with me… so blessed that God lets my words speak to you. Just so blessed that you are my sister! The control monster is dying…. the very fact that you long for him to is proof… For months ago you didn’t even know he was there… now look at you. You are getting there….

      Love you!

  4. I have found myself in the most unexpected places on my journey….honeschooling my boy warriors is one of them. I was one of those parents that said , “I good NEVER homeschool!”

    It is so hard to let go of control. Many times I have questioned what I am doing and thought ‘maybe I heard wrong about homeschooling?’ I feel inadequate and fear takes over. Great post Julie xo

  5. Today is my 55th birthday. In the past 5 years I’ve lost everything that was comfortable and familiar except the grace of the Father’s steady love that is strong in my weakness. May the seas part for you, Jewelz! I have no doubt in your trust and of course, He has no doubt in you! 😉

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