This morning as I was sitting on the porch watching the sun rise over the Nile, on our anniversary getaway, the Lord spoke to the stillness of my heart. One side of the river is filled with still waters and the other is filled with rough rapids. I saw this boat floating along the river trying to stay away from the rapids and the Proverb I turned to in my Bible was Ch.8 entitled Wisdom’s Call. After reading this chapter, I turned to Daniel, where I actually am supposed to be, and begin reading the first three chapters. As I looked out over the waters after my reading, I thought of the fisherman in his boat aiming to stay clear of the rapids and I was struck by the similarities that we have as Christ followers.
I look out and realize that the smooth waters are more abundant than the rapids. I think there is no doubt that most of us would always choose the smooth water, but somewhere down the river, there will be rapids. The waters always have rough zones, some bigger and tougher than others. There is a common saying: Don’t rock the boat, but I feel that God is showing me that in this life sometimes he has to rock my boat and sometimes he has to flip it over even, but in the end He is my still waters.
I see the fisherman paddling to stay in the smooth waters away from the rapids and feel like in my life, I also try to run from the rapids, knowing that the task will be hard, the refining will be much, and somewhere in the midst of it, I may even loose sight of what I know is to come: Smooth Waters. God is with me in the smooth waters and He is with me through the rapids of life. Through it all, He says to stand firm, Wisdom is calling.
This wisdom is sometimes hard as it is calling us to the unknown. Sometimes it is calling us back to what we know and what we are living but we are ready to give up and God tells us it may be bumpy but stay the course. Today he spoke to my heart and said that what we are doing, not just here as missionaries, but all over as Christ Followers is going to be hard. It will sometimes take every ounce of what you have to give and then some. It is going to no doubt challenge you to new levels, but He also says in the end, when the ride is over, you will know more of me. You will rejoice in me, the God of wisdom, the God of Joy, the God of stillness.
I think that sometimes that fisherman probably looks out from his boat and sees what is ahead and wants to try with all his might to take a different route even when he can see the end of the rapids. I have found in myself, living in another culture, with the same thoughts. I know what lies ahead some weeks and I try my hardest to change the course because I know I am headed for frustration or a feeling of despair and defeat. I know some days are just going to be full of rapids before I start and God is telling me to press on. Stand Firm, endure the rapids and find the still waters.
Find Rest My soul, In Christ alone. Know His power, in quietness and trust.