A couple of my sisters were in town this week, so we wanted to show them around our “new” home. We decided that we would go whitewater tubing down the Potomac River in West Virginia. I was super excited, but I literally had no idea what to expect. As we purchased our tickets the lady at the front desk told us that because of the recent storms, the water was running much faster than normal and she asked if we still wanted to go. Of course, we did because we are competitive, and we just drove an hour to get to this place.
So we buy the tickets and she tells us to go sit and watch the safety video. We sit down to watch this video and had to listen to one of the guys tell us the routes to go and he went over some safety tips. He then went on to explain “you better not do this or else…” Alright, so now we are nervous. We looked at each other and kinda chuckled. He goes on saying “make sure you paddle yourself all the way to the right or else you’ll be stuck and have to get yourself out.”
As if that didn’t calm our nerves, he said: “If you put your feet down you can drown yourself, and if you flip your tube make sure you float so your feet don’t get stuck on the rocks and the water pull you under.” WHAT? No. All I am thinking is…what in the world are we doing? Then the competitor in me just said: “stick it out, you’ll be fine.” So we did it and needless to say, I am writing this blog…I am fine. Anyway, moral of the story…this reminded me so much of life. Our life as a Jesus follower.
We go through our day to day life not knowing what in the world is going to happen or what to expect. Are the waters going to be rough today, or are they going to be calm? What about next week? Is there going to be an unexpected bump in the road that I am not prepared for? Better yet, Lord, I can’t be patient because I am a planner and I like to know what is next. Father, I have waited for the right guy or the right job for too long and I am done waiting. Lord, I thought if I follow you, nothing will go wrong. BUT LORD… Sound familiar? No matter what we do to avoid it, sometimes life can knock us on our face, and other times it's smooth sailing and we get caught worrying about the next storm. God says, “don’t worry about tomorrow, for today brings enough worries.”
So I’ll break it down a little more. The lady warned us that the waters were a little faster and a little rougher than normal. God says in the bible “In this life, there will be trials and tribulations, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33]. We know life is going to throw us unexpected storms, but God prepares us in saying it’s going to happen. God also says he is never going to leave nor forsake us [Deuteronomy 31:]. So lucky enough, through those storms that God warns us about, and through times in our life that bring us down and we feel like we can’t take anymore, God is with us and he is going to be with us the rest of the way. We don’t know what it going to happen, but God does, and He is going to stick it out with us.
Not only does God warn us about the storms, but he also tells us the way to go. As we watched this instruction video showing us the correct route to take, we learned that if we don’t take the route they told us to, we will get stuck and have to find our own way back. Well, the bible says “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad
Give me the waves, give me the storms, but get me to the gate of life.
Just like the river, in order to get to the side that you are supposed to be on, you gotta get through the current, and the branches and the rocks, but once you get there you will be led to the finish line. God tells you the way to go in His word (the bible), but it’s up to us as individuals to follow it.
There was a point where I was floating pretty fast, and I saw what was coming up ahead of me. I was kinda scared, I am not going to lie. All I saw was a massive dip and a huge rock at the end. The woman in front of me went down the dip and flipped her tube. I made it barely hanging on, but I stayed on the tube.
Guys, life is crazy. There is going to be the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, but you gotta trust in where God is leading you. One of my great friends, mentors and our softball chaplain at the University of Oklahoma told our team when we lost in the national championship game to “praise Him when we win and praise Him when we lose.” You guys, it is so easy to lean on the Lord when things are going good, but it is so important that we lean on Him when things are rough. He loves you so much and wants you to trust in His plans. He tells us that the storms will come, but He also tells us that He is never going to leave us.
Cling to His promises, trust in His plan and praise Him through the storms. I don’t know what y'all are going through, but I know a God who is bigger than your storms. I pray that you would seek Him through the highs and lows, lay your worries at His feet and trust in the plans God has for your life.