Strength To Endure

*Previously Posted*

Recently, I signed up for a kayaking adventure on the Chicago River. For three hours a tour guide presented us with information concerning the architecture along the river bank. I was excited, yet nervous and anxious. Being the “semi-adventurous” person that I am, I looked forward to trying something out of my norm. Assuming I was fit to handle the rigors of kayaking, I received a rude awakening within ten minutes of my trip. I had not anticipated such strenuous work: dodging various large boats, and crashing into concrete walls just to name a few. What was I thinking? On our way back to dock, the infamous question of “Are we there yet” was asked by yours truly. To my dismay, our guide answered with, “only 1 more mile to go.” By this time I was tired and ready to go home. However, I had to muster up the strength to continue until I reached my destination.

Arriving home that afternoon, I thought of all that had occurred. If I knew what I was truly getting into, I’m not so sure I would sign up. Muscles I’d forgotten about and never knew existed were used. In fact, evening plans with a friend was cancelled because I was so worn out. As God would have it, in spite of my current condition, He awakened my senses to the spiritual lessons I learned on the water.

1) If you find yourself off the path God has intended, He can and will get you back on track. As a novice, I found myself bumping into various things along the river: river wall, trees, small boats, etc. And more than once I might add.   As a result, my kayak would often turn away from my group, causing me to go the opposite way from our intended path. One of the guides responsible for those in the back came to my rescue on several occasions. As he turned me around, I found myself more at ease. I no longer had to fear heading in the wrong direction, because he was there and he was the expert. God has already laid out His plan for our lives. Distractions or stumbling blocks may cause us to venture off course. However, as we partner with Him, His loving hand will lead us back where we belong.

Psalm 37:23- The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in His way. (NKJ)

2) Don’t fight the winds in your life. Let them carry you to your rightful place. There were several moments on my way back where the winds were so forceful. Although I’m from “The Windy City”, I had not anticipated high winds that day. Instead, I prepared for the sweltering heat experienced by all. I found myself having a more difficult time steering my kayak. My arms were working overtime and finally, I made the decision to stop paddling. The Holy Spirit reminded me to stop going against the wind, and allow it to propel me down the river. As I sat in my kayak, I was surprised just how far along I had gotten. My silent prayers for God’s help had not gone unheard! He certainly has a sense of humor. In that instant, I learned a valuable lesson: Whatever circumstance you find yourself in, never underestimate that He will use what may appear as discomforting (or nuisance) to help guide you to your destination!

 Isaiah 55:8-“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. (NKJ)

 3) He will carry you when life appears to be too much to handle. As I got close to the end of my tour, the wind picked up stronger than before. My tour guide took one look at me, and saw my distress. I had done all that I could, yet to no avail relief was not in sight. To my surprise he paddled toward my kayak, hooking mine with his. Guiding us along the river until the winds died down. I then relaxed and took in all the scenery as much needed rest came my way. He knew that my inexperience would be too much and without hesitation, decided to carry me. How many times have we looked back over moments in our life, wondering how we managed to keep our head above water? The concern Jesus has for us is endless. When our load is too much to bear, He’s there willing and ready to carry His children to higher ground!

 Psalm 46:1- God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (NKJ)

 Finally reaching my destination, I reflected on the 4 mile journey that was embarked upon. Times where I wanted to give up was not an option. I had to keep going. It was only because of His strength was I able to endure my adventure and all that awaited thereafter.




Posted on: January 14, 2013, by : admin

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