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Rock n' Rapids

Rock n' Rapids

 
By:  Mission Team August 26, 2021
#AmazingNation, #Courage, #Faith, #Live, #Trust

When trials come, where is your hope? What is the rock that you hold on to?

The first time I went white water rafting, I was at a summer camp in the mountains. I remember the feeling of the cool water spray across the raft, and the forceful currents ripping us every which way. The slippery orange raft served as a shelter to grip on to, like your life depended on it. Because at times, maybe it did. There were many drop-off waterfalls, and it would be dangerous to be thrown into the shallow, rock filled water. Therefore, unless instructed otherwise, we had to stay in the raft.

Our adventure through the river was exhilarating! We were tossed and thrown by currents and managed to maneuver around boulders and over sheet rocks. It was also very exhausting. After a while, we decided to take a break for lunch. We pulled our rafts up to the bank of a beach, and while some of our leaders were setting up lunch, some of my friends got the permission to swim across the river to the bank on the other side. There was more room that way to hangout and climb on rocks. While not being the best swimmer, I obviously wanted to have fun with my friends and join them on the other side. But because of the fast current, my game plan was to walk upstream so that I did not get drawn too far out.

In a split second, it was too late for such a plan, as I slipped off the rock that I was standing on and into the rushing currents. Now, at this moment, it would have made the most sense for me to freak out. Yell!?! Scream for help!!! DO SOMETHING!!!! But I didn’t. Instead, I was noticing the trees around me, the beautiful sky, and birds flying overhead. So odd. My group from back on the beach began to shout “GRAB A ROCK” as I was being forced downstream. I didn’t make it to the first rock I tried to cling to. I looked ahead and all I saw was peaceful waters, so I didn’t think I had much to worry about. Sure, I felt adrenaline, but I knew things were going to be alright and I would be okay. But isn’t that what they all say?

Further and further down the stream I went. The yells from my friends grew more muffled as the gurgling sound of water became the dominant sound filling my ears. Faintly, I got the message to grab a hold of something while a guide was making his way in a kayak to save me. I swam as hard as I could to make it to the next rock on the side. Again, I missed it. While my life jacket was keeping my head above water, my arms and legs were growing tired and shaky from the failed attempts to rescue myself. Finally, there was a large rock that I was able to reach, grab hold of and sit on before the river guide came. After a while of waiting for him, he eventually showed up. I climbed into the safe kayak and vigorously helped paddle against the current back to the beach. There I joined my group to have our lunch of sandwiches and oreos.

The next day I learned something that changed my perspective on the whole experience.

Apparently just ahead of the rock I was able to climb onto, was one of the strongest drop off rip currents in the whole route! This hidden waterfall was one where even the most experienced rafters couldn’t solo swim in, because the pressure can suck one down to spiral under a ledge that prevents you from fighting the current altogether.

Whether or not, I would have drowned had I not gotten out when I did. What I do know through that experience, is that I truly witnessed what it felt like to have the peace of Christ in me. The fact that I didn’t have a full on freak-out was legit grace. Here’s the thing though, this experience doesn’t have to be something that I just lived through! It also has a message to share.

“Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to save me. For you are my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake lead me and guide me.” - Psalm 31:3-4

Like the river, thoughts and negative feelings can suck us under and attempt to drown us. It is important to grab a hold of something to be our foundation so we don’t get dragged under. What is our rock in those situations?

I know in the chaos of my life, some of the things that served as a rock were my friend group, art, and music. These things helped me focus my passion and served as an outlet for many stresses. Community was especially beneficial, as I could vocalize what I was feeling and had people who could walk with me and assure me I wasn’t alone. Above all else though, Jesus was and is my rock. What was grounding me in the uncertainties and confusion was the reality that there is someone who knows more about me than I know myself. In every moment, good or bad, I have a God who loves me anyway, and is more powerful than my greatest enemy!

So take courage in the rapids of your life! Know that you are not alone, and GRAB ON TO A ROCK!

Photo Credits:
"Sitting on the river" by coleypauline is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
"White Water Rafting - Hudson River, NY" by sapienssolutions is licensed under CC BY 2.0

https://unsplash.com/photos/LspBqN9gzAg
https://unsplash.com/photos/X5CyweAStIY
https://unsplash.com/photos/oQC81OHcl4Q



About the Author Mission TeamThe mission team is made up of writers within the HN team who serve for a time with our ministry to Awaken the World to the Power of God's Love. Through their efforts, their vision of making a world where no one suffers alone is an encouragement to many hurting people of all ages. 


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