Okay, call me stupid but I agreed to go white water rafting with a bunch of young guys up in northern California. What made matters worse, it was a Class V River and I had never been river rafting before. Come to find out, Class V rafting is the highest level of difficulty available in the white water rafting world.
What was I thinking? But my “young” friends assured me everything would be okay. So I believed them until we arrived at the launch site and that’s when I started getting nervous, really nervous!
First of all I found myself in the middle of nowhere, joining group of experienced rafters who traveled from all around the country to take on this Class V river. They told me they had heard it was one of the hardest and wanted to give it a shot. Give it a shot? What does that mean? I was also informed that everyone would have to pass a swim test crossing the river through rapids and demonstrating they can save a drowning swimmer. A “drowning” swimmer? Are you kidding me?
The guides then stated if they felt you were going to be a risk to yourself or others, they wouldn’t allow you on the trip and you will be sent home. What did I get myself into? I’m too old for this! For the first time in years, I was legitimately afraid. I’m typically not a fearful person but at that moment I felt like I was back in high school and experiencing one of those “I wish I could disappear” situations. I was stuck, out of control, nowhere to run. It was just me, God, and a Class V river! So I started to pray!!
In my fearful prayer, God graciously reminded me about the requirements for trusting in Him… faith! He reminded me about Peter’s water moment and how his faith was replaced by fear when he took his eyes off the Lord.
Mat 14:28-31 – “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
So here I was, in my water moment, and all I could do was jump in with Jesus! So I did! Long story short, I passed all the tests and made it safely down the river. All the way down, I found myself wrestling with thinking I might drown and keeping my eyes on Jesus. It was this back-and-forth process of fear and faith. Although I probably won’t be going on another Class V rafting trip anytime soon, I did learn some valuable lessons that will stick with me for a long time about myself, fear, control, and what it means to truly trust in Jesus.
So, if you struggle with fear, I want to encourage you that we serve a big God who is able to handle any situation you may find yourself in. Even though you may feel out of control, God isn’t. Sometimes the way out of a situation is to walk through it, but the key is to walk through it with the Lord. This is when He shows up in amazing ways (2 Cor 12:7-10).
God understands your storms, your fears, your struggles, and wants nothing more than for you to trust Him to provide! So, take it from me, when you turn your fear factor into a faith factor you will experience God’s peace, perspective, insight, and guidance.
Eph 3:20 – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.
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