White Water Rafting... A modern day parable
March 31, 2020
One of the outdoor adventures that tourist operators offer in New Zealand is White Water Rafting. If you haven't done it before it's quite exhilarating! I found it amusing when people posted these questions online about White Water Rafting... "Why is it called White Water? Is it dangerous? Do people fall out? Do people die?"
Growing up I'm sure we've all have had experiences that we look back on and wonder "How did I survive that?" My Year 7 biology teacher asked a few of his students if we'd like to go on a raft trip with him. Of course as young guys this sounded like a great adventure! As we were getting the rafts prepared to enter the river our teacher explained that the first rapids we would be going through were rated Grade 4!
Catch the context of this trip. Most of us had never been rafting before and first rapid we were going to face one of the highest danger levels! When we were deciding which raft to go in I chose the one my teacher was navigating. If I was going to be terrified I wanted to be with someone who had been in treacherous waters and lived!
As we set out on the water I could hear the roar of the rapids before us. As our raft approached the first rapids I remember having a sense of thrill and terror at the same time, as we shot through the raging rapids unscathed. What an adventure! Then the other raft navigated by my friends approached the same rapids. As they neared the most difficult part of the river they hit a rock, turned sideways and were flipped out of the raft into the cold water. I looked up and saw my friends being swept downstream before me with a look of terror on their faces! To make a long story short my friends were rescued and we all got home safe that night with lots of stories to tell from our excursion.
"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you." - Isaiah 43:2
Life can be a bit like this story. We will face some "white water" episodes in life. We've all faced situations that have invoked fear or anxiety. Many people are experiencing this feeling around the world during this worldwide pandemic. The waters of life can be a bit turbulent at times. Once your on the water however you must learn to navigate the river. I chose to get in the same raft with my teacher because I trusted him. As we navigate the "white waters" of life it's good to know that we have Jesus in the raft with us.
"In the roar of Your waterfalls, ancient depths surge,
calling out to the deep. All Your waves break over me;
am I drowning?" Psalm 42:7 (VOICE)
What are you facing? Are you hearing the roar of a situation and wondering if you're going to make it through the swift current? Do you feel like you might strike an obstacle and fall out of the raft? The Lord knows all too well the current of the river of life. He will help you navigate your fear and concerns.
One thing about rafting is it really is a lot of fun! It's usually done with a group of people. One of the prophetic words the Lord recently gave us at Grace Church was we were entering into some "white water". Let's stay in the raft together. Life may seem far from normal and even terrifying at times. At the end of the day we'll be able to say "What a thrill and adventure!"