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“What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.”
When I was growing up, my family and I used to go inner tubing on the river. I look back now and think of how adventurous I was back then. To this day, I have never learned to swim, and to think of getting in such deep water and floating seven miles on an inner tube now isn’t even within radar-range of what I would consider doing. Back then, I was young and much more openminded to risk-taking, and even though I remember being scared, at times, somehow the fun must have seemed worth it.
One of the things I find most concerning about my memories of that river is the fact that you could take a step and think you were on level ground, then the very next step could be several feet deeper, creating a massive drop-off. You just never knew what the depth would be even one small step in front of you, and you obviously couldn’t see anything when you looked in the water. So much of it was unknown and mysterious. Looking through eyes that are much older and more cautious, I find the thought of such far too foolish and daring. I must truly be getting old, but I certainly prefer that over the alternative. 😊
(As a side note, I found it interesting to find out that there has been a ban on inner tubing in that area dating back to 1965, which is the year before I was born! Reading that didn’t do much to set my mind at ease concerning the dangers of my adventurous younger days, and it was surprising to find that we must have been breaking the law, to boot!)
As I spent time in prayer this morning, I had a whole list of things I am feeling anxious about concerning our future. Never has it been more unknown or unfamiliar. My mind went back to that Miami River and how uncertain it always was to take one more step. How the “bottom could fall out” at any minute, and just because the ground felt level the last step I took gave no indication whatsoever as to what that next step would feel like. Where would my foot end up? Would there be ground beneath it to even step on? Or would the step plunge me into waters over my head?
Isn’t this the way with life? There isn’t one among us who can predict what the next step of their life will look like. Will it remain steady? Will today be “business as usual?” Will tomorrow be a blissfully ordinary day? I have come to dearly cherish the beauty and steadiness of an ordinary day. It is beyond precious to me when a day doesn’t include any unexpected “drop-offs” and an overall sense of normalcy and “the same” pervades.
Life never stands still, does it? It is like a continually-flowing river that moves us onward, no matter how much we may want to stay firmly rooted in place. We have no promise of what our next step will entail, but we do have a promise that we will never walk alone, and even if the step in front of us calls us into a place of overwhelm, there are three things we should never forget.
- Regardless how deep the waters, the arms of God are wide and all-encompassing and are always beneath the lowest point.
“The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” Deuteronomy 33:27
“He will tend His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in His arms; He will carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:11 (ESV)
“Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear.” Isaiah 59:1 (Berean Study Bible)
“I will steady him with My hand; with My powerful arm I will make him strong.” Psalm 89:21 (NLT)
- Regardless how severely wind-tossed the waters, Jesus walks in the midst of the storm, and the waves are always underneath His feet.
“About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water.” Matthew 14:25 (NLT)
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church.” Ephesians 1:18-22
- Regardless how mysterious and cloudy the waters, God sees clear through and is fully aware of every drop-off and peril that lurks in the darkness, and even though we can’t see our next step, He can.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.” Psalm 34:15 (ESV)
“And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it,’ when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” Isaiah 30:21
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD.” Psalm 37:23
“He will guard the feet of His faithful ones.” I Samuel 2:9 (ESV)
“The LORD will always guide you; He will satisfy you in a sun-scorched land and strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11 (Berean Study Bible)
May God bless each one of you and guide your every step. May you always have a strong sense of His guiding presence in your life, and may you rest in the knowledge that He is ever in control.