Isaiah 43:2 – When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (KJV)
Our neighbourhood has open ditches with small exposed culverts. Some see them as unsightly, others deem them dangerous. But to me, they thrust me back to my childhood, and as I watch the water wind its way through the ditches like a snake slithering through the grass, I feel like "floating my boat down the canal".
My "boat" has never been bigger or stronger than whatever the paper available could provide. Sometimes it would be my boat alone, moving along with the flow, rushing over the rapids or slowing as it came up to the rock posing as an island. As I guessed at which route it would take, it often took another one. Sometimes it would be mine and others — and the race would be on. Would it make it around the rock on its own, or would it require our assistance? Would it get hung up in debris — requiring us to reach down and gently help it along? It was always a relief when we ran to the other end of the culvert and were able to greet our boat as it made it safely through.
Now, I sometimes mentally float my boat as I follow the flow of the water, winding its way through the ditches.
We are like the paper boats floating along in the rainwater rivers. Some of us are made from very durable material and are toughened to the tasks at hand. Some of us are of a thinner fabric, and don't weather the waters quite so well. Some of us are racing down a rushing rapid; others seem to sail along on a fairly smooth stream.
Jesus is our gentle guide, going along by our side, ready to reach down and move us through the debris. When we travel through the "culverts" in our life, He is with us. Our "culverts" can come in many forms and sizes. They may come in the form of disappointments, tough decisions, unwanted or unexpected situations, sickness, or loss. Still, He is always with us, and as we pass through, He rejoices when we emerge to be greeted on the other side.
Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, may we remember to give thanks for your presence as we sail along smooth waters, to ask for your strength as we weather the storms, and to gain the grace you so willingly give us when facing the challenge of the "culverts" in our life. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.