Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Without a Paddle!

The other morning I happened to be talking to a friend who exasperatingly made the statement, “I feel as if I’m up a creek without a paddle!”

As he continued to go into great lengths about his current plight, I remembered thinking, “Boy, I know exactly how he feels. I’ve made that journey up that very same creek paddle-less before and it’s no fun!"  

As he continued to talk, I began to mentally wander back into my own memory of  difficult circumstances and the lessons I had learned as a result of them. I remembered how I eventually learned not to panic, but instead to take a deep breath and acknowledge that God was in full control, and that I could trust his perfect timing in the matter.

The inflatable raft I was in that day, slowly drifted out into deep and troubling waters without my knowledge. The warmth of the sun and the lapping of the waves had lulled me into a deep and relaxed sleep. Without warning, I was jolted to an upright position by the loud rumble of a thunder clap. I quickly looked up to see some rather dark, menacing clouds slowly crawling over the once blue sky. Immediately I sensed I was in big trouble and began to look for what was available to me.

There, under the wooden seat, was my small wicker basket containing a red-checkered table cloth neatly packed for a noonday lunch on the beach. I also noticed along the inside of the raft there was a bamboo pole someone had used as a make-shift fishing rod.

In a matter of seconds I had that table cloth hoisted up and tied off at each end of the bamboo pole. In my peripheral view I could see a loose yellow ribbon tie, wildly flapping, as if to signal to me which direction the wind was coming. So, as quickly as I could, I furled my sheet over and under, wrapped the corner around my fist, and held it tightly in position.

After I had done everything I knew to do, I lowered my head, whispered a prayer, and waited patiently for God to intervene. 

Before long I began to notice a slight stirring. That slight stirring turned into a gentle breeze which turned into a strong gust that quickly filled up my colorful sail causing my inflatable vessel to begin moving swiftly along … homeward bound!

After arriving safely, I was relieved, though still somewhat shaken. I began to realize that God had very wonderfully organized his own “Search and Rescue” operation on my behalf! 

He was more than ready to come to my aid at a moments notice!  

How faithful and on time is our God. We are never very far from His all-seeing eye. He promises in His word that He will never leave us nor forsake us. (Hebrews 13:5)

Are you going through some rough waters of your own today?  Will you allow God to bring you to a place of smooth sailing, even though you may have lost your paddle?  He understands only too well the frailty of our humanity, and He longs to rescue each of us from life’s little (and not so little) surprises.

If we would but trust him, he will always bring us ... safely into shore.

Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"

He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"  (Matthew 8:24-30).

Copyright Missey Butler. Used by permission.

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