This is not my idea of a river to kayak.
It's a "rushing river"..........with white water rapids. I have friends who kayak on rivers like this. I'm not a strong, or good enough, swimmer to paddle these kinds of rivers.
Here is my idea of a perfect river to paddle..............
|Indian River near Lake Abanakee|
Central Adirondacks, NYS
This kind of river is called flat water. Calm. Peaceful. Water barely moving. Placid.
See the first photo??
This is what I pictured in my brain when I read the following Scriptures for my devotional time on Sunday. The Scriptures I was reading are from Isaiah 43.
"fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...." Isaiah 43:2-3a
scorching flames....rushing rivers overflowing...........
this is imagery that God gave Isaiah.
It's a picture of when we walk through the trials and storms of life...........
sometimes those trials might be a physical challenge/health issue, or a mental one (mental illness like depression or bipolar), sometimes it might be financial (loss of a job/career change, loss of stocks/savings or other financial hardship), sometimes it might be emotional (dealing with past abuse or abandonment issues, low self-esteem issue, insecurities, estranged friendships, marital difficulties/adultery, forgiveness issues) and sometimes it might be spiritual (Satanic attacks, unforgiveness, lack of spiritual disciplines in your life, a feeling of being lukewarm or apathetic, backsliding or not dealing with known sin in your life, struggling to find God's will or purposes/plan for your life, disunity in your local church or small group ministry, etc.).
Whatever those trials are, and we all have them at some point, God is still there with us.
He doesn't leave us. We might turn from Him but He never turns from us!!
Sometimes, God uses the trials to orchestrate our steps.....our journey to finding His purposes for us.
Sometimes, of course, it is just consequences of past actions.
Sometimes when we feel that scorching heat, or feel that mighty rushing water rushing over us like we are about to drown, it is difficult to see God's purpose or plans for us. That is normal! Even Jesus, when He had to face the cross of Calvary, agonized over that trial. He was in human form....He didn't want to face pain.
Yet He did. Because He believed in the faithfulness of His Father (God) and in God's goodness. He knew that His Father would work all things out for good....according to His purposes!
We can have the assurance, too!
God will bring purpose from our pain. No matter what it is.
He will help us to walk through the fire and through that rushing river.
So many times, in looking back at trials I've gone through, or that my husband has gone through, I marvel at how lacking our faith was at times. And yet....at other times, in different trials, especially as we grew older and matured in our Christian walk, we just KNEW beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was with us...He was calling our names.......
For my self, I've known at times that God really was calling me by name...that He knew me....( well of course He does, but when you're going through a trial, sometimes it does seem like He is far away). There have been some trials, like the one when I battled lyme disease or the one when our baby needed surgery, that I just knew God was going to work it for good. I never doubted. I had some fears but I never doubted He was there holding me.
There have been other times, other trials, that I couldn't even call God, "Father". Someday I am going to write about that......
.........for now, be encouraged!!
God calls us by name....and He holds our hands.....
We can walk through........
.....no matter what................