Isaiah 43:1-3a – But now this is what the Lord says — he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. (NIV)
Our campsite beside the river was beautiful and blissfully refreshing amidst the dusty summer heat. Not only were we enjoying it but so were both our dogs. Deciding to stroll along the bank for a ways, I let them off their leashes for a run. Prince stayed close by, but Candy, being a Spaniel, soon leapt into the water before I thought to call her to heel.
The river was quite wide, deep, and fast flowing, threatening to carry her quickly away. At first, I felt the icy grip of panic seize me, but then I noticed that Candy was not attempting to fight the river's flow but to go with it by swimming on a down-river angle. She was actually using the water's momentum to help her reach the shoreline. Within a matter of minutes, the river had, indeed, washed her safe and sound back onto firm land, and she joyfully returned to my side.
This memory has stayed with me for over thirty years, and God has often used it to remind me to go with the flow of life during difficult times. Through it, He has nudged me not to panic. He is still in charge. Salvation is found in Him and in Him alone. Such truth soon empowers me to cease struggling and allow the momentum of the situation to propel me into a leaning and learning mode in Christ, which grants the Holy Spirit the opportunity to continue to grow me in Christian grace and maturity. And though I must admit that I might not always enjoy the experiences I am swept up in, the results which God is able to bring from them, when I choose to lean and learn, are truly beautiful and blissfully refreshing amidst the often dusty heat of this life.
Prayer: Lord God and wonderful Father, thank You for the experiences which You allow into our lives to teach us to lean and learn. Bless us with the faith to trust Your truth, and the power to rest within it, that we might each continue to grow in Christian grace and maturity. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.
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