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