The Adventure of Faith in a Canoe!
My family went on our very first canoeing trip recently.
We started off with 2 gray canoes and 8 green paddles. We dragged our heavy, metal canoes down into the river off the side of a rocky river bank. My oldest daughter and I were in a canoe together and my husband and youngest daughter were partners in the other canoe.
As we started out it was a little rough and you could say very rocky! Our canoe quickly got stuck in some large rocks. With my daughter quickly taking the role of captain, I climbed out of the side of our canoe and tried to push us out of the shallow river of rocks, finally we were on our way. The captain and I did not have our paddling figured out yet. I thought she was saying “Row…Row” but she was saying “No… No!” We kind of rowed right into a sandbar. We laughed at our selves as we used our paddles to push our canoe out of the sandbar and finally were heading down stream paddling together left…left, right…right!
Taking the peaceful scenery in, we relaxed, slowly paddling, not wanting this adventure to end. We quietly floated by a young bald eagle resting on a bed of rocks in the middle of the river. It was an amazing, yet humbling; experience to see such a powerful bird so close.
About half way through our journey the river got a little rough. The captain and I made it just fine through the mild rapids. As I turned back I watched my husband yelling my youngest daughters name as they were rowing sideways, headed straight for the river bank! They flipped there canoe in a shallow but rocky river bank. I could hear my husband yelling “get our paddle, we lost our paddle.” As I was trying to hold back from laughing at the image of my husband going sideways down the river, Captain and I turned our canoe around and tried to paddle up stream looking for a lost paddle floating by. I spotted the paddle; it had gotten stuck in a couple of small boulders sticking out of the river. We tried so hard, and we were so close, but a strong current took hold of our canoe and forced us down river again. We rowed downstream and tried to get stuck in a river bank. I got out of our canoe and walked up on the side of the river bank and then into the muddy water to grab their paddle. They finally got settled in there very wet canoe and floated down stream. I handed my husband his paddle as they floated by. As I journeyed back to my canoe, fear grabbed a hold of me as I thought “I hope I am not trespassing on any slimy creatures’ territory.”
As we were finally on our way again, I laughed and laughed, and laughed some more as I replayed our mishaps on this crazy adventure. The rest of our 4 hour float we worked on our rowing skills, and admired the natural, peaceful beauty.
As I think back on our canoeing adventure I cannot help but think about my relationship with God.
Our journey of faith can be like a canoe trip.
Very rocky! Sometimes, on our journey, life can be filled with lots of rocks and quick stand. We can over think and second guess ourselves. We question God. We push away and reject God’s love. We can get stuck in the pain and regrets of our past.
Forget what happened in the past, and do not dwell on events from long ago. I am going to do something new. It is already happening. Don’t you recognize it? I will clear a way in the desert. I will make rivers on dry land. Isaiah 43:18-19 (GW)
Humbling! On our journey of life, we must take the time to see the beauty of God’s amazing creations. We must notice the bright and beautiful colors in our lives. God’s amazing love and creativity comes to life everyday!
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14 (ESV)
Strong current! We want others to see and experience God’s beauty too. Sometimes we have to step out in faith and go against the current of this life to help others, to show them God’s love, help them find their paddles-their way. When you step out in faith, do not allow fear to grab hold of you and make you second guess yourself. You will sink.
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Mathew 14:28-32 (NIV)
When we do feel like we are sinking, we must cry out to Jesus. He has saved me many times throughout my journey.
The Captain and I must keep rowing! As you canoe down the river of life remember, you are never alone. Allow the Holy Spirit to be your captain; leading and guiding you on how to conquer the rocky rapids of life.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. John 16:13 (ESV)
When life gets hard and you want to give up, keep rowing. When your arms are tired and your heart can not seem to brake anymore, keep rowing. When your tears are too thick to see through and it is too hard to breathe, keep rowing.
You are not alone. You are loved.
Feel free to leave a comment or send an email.
I would love to hear about your journey.