Friday, July 1, 2016

When You Pass Through the Waters, I Will Be With You

Over the years, we’ve enjoyed every water feature you could imagine. We frequented the lakes in Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri. And then there was Saddleback Lake in Canada where I officially became a Master Angler when I caught an 8 lb 9 oz Walleye. Mama brought home the fish. Papa had it mounted, and it's prominently placed in Mama's office!

We had fountains in three of our homes that provided such calming sound effects in our backyards. We had a pond at our Sapulpa OK home where our grandkids loved to hang out with Papa. In fact, they all learned to fish there. There's a fishing pond where I live now. We camped, fished and river rafted, canoed, and kayaked in rivers and there are no adequate words to convey about the majestic oceans and seas that we cruised on.

I recall my Sweetheart sitting back, delighting in the stillness and beauty of those moments in all of those water places. He loved taking it all in. He was "home" by the water. I'm quite sure he's made sure that our mansion in heaven is right by the River of Life.

What if life was like living by a pond or lake? A lake can represent stability and tranquility. A lake doesn’t change much from year to year. With the exception of a severe storm (we were at the lake on plenty of occasions when a tornado was coming through), a lake is a secure place with clear boundaries, stable waters, and a quiet shore. There is a sense of order, control, and safe predictability about a lake, with few major surprises from day to day.

I have found life to be more like traveling down a river. It's very unpredictable and filled with many twists and turns, highs and lows, rapids and calms, unseen obstacles and unexpected objects that go drifting by. But, it can also be filled with exhilarating experiences that are packed full of adventure.

Larry, Staci, the kids and myself recently enjoyed a trip to the Illinois River. When the Tenkiller Dam is closed, the river flows nice and slow, and it’s easy to swim and relax, even fish while standing right in the middle of the river. But when the gates at the dam open up, the strong force of those waters is a force to be reckoned with. You can ride the currents in a raft or kayak, but you have to avoid the potential dangers which can be devastating to a rider. We know that for a fact – when our kayaks tipped over and we were pulled into the rapids, and but for the grace of God, could have lost our lives. Our kayaks went on down the river….without us in them. Thank God, we had on life preservers.

As we journey on in life we want things to be safe and secure for us and our loved ones, like that lake with borders -- no big changes or surprises. But, in reality, life is more like a river as it is continually moving in ways that we cannot control, predict, or expect.

The good news for us is that our security, stability, AND sanity are not found on the rivers of our lives, but in the Lord of of our lives. Our hope is in Him who knows the way through the obstacles and the twists and turns. Our peace is found in the One who directs our course. Our hope is fixed upon the One whose hands not only created the river, but calms it, and He is THE ONE Who causes the unpredictability of the river to work things together for our good.

Isaiah 43:2 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you....."