Your way was in the sea, and your paths in the raging waters.

Psalm 77: 19


I was reading a newspaper story about a group of men who were among the very best white water kayakers in the world. It discussed the way that one of them went about taking on a set of rapids that were right at the top of the list of the world’s most dangerous. Before he entered the water, he walked along the shore and carefully considered every foot of that section of wildly unpredictable foaming water. He considered his approach to it and his line through every churning and twisting eddy and hole. He knew that once he entered the river he would have neither time nor clarity of vision to think through his reactions. Then, he would have to rely on his experience, skill, and this preparation in order to survive.


How many of your days have contained qualities that were similar to this wildly untamed and out of control river? For myself, I’ve certainly known more than a few. One of the biggest challenges that I have seen in handling these days is that, unlike the white water adventure that I was reading about, these times are not usually planned. Instead, they come out of nowhere. I can be enjoying a leisurely raft ride through life with its mild moments of attention-getting turbulence; when, suddenly, the bottom seems to fall out of it all with a jolt that makes may heart fly into my throat and causes my head to spin. This is the nature of living in this world, and these are also times when living in a relationship with Christ is essential to coming out victorious on the other side of the rapids.


In order to be ready for these inevitable times of engaging in the ultimate of wild rides, it is important to do just what the white water kayaker did. We should take the time to study the course, to know the dangers, to determine a path, and to meditate on our potential responses. These are all things that the Lord gives to us through continual and deep study of His Word. The raging torrents of my life are ones that others have also navigated, and there is already a road map of righteous thinking and Christ-like actions set out for me to learn from. Additionally, like the expert kayaker, I need to be willing and able to trust in my own instincts while I am in the middle of the course. However, there is a vital difference in what he relies upon and what I have available to me, for my instincts are formed and informed as my trust is placed in the ever present help of the mighty Spirit of Christ who never fails to show me the line and who is already the victor over all that tries to defeat my journey through this world.