Life has me rafting on through calm river and at times rough, rushing water. In the easy flow of water the scenery so clear, my direction stretching ahead and full of beauty and joy. Then the river picks up speed, rocks begin to appear and no longer can I view the beauty of the river banks or rest in the flow of clear water. Focus is required, and fear is fought off while everything speeds by in the blur of movement.
When I began this years journey through the 40 days of Lent, I asked for God to lead me deeper into understanding Jesus journey to the cross. I heard “FOLLOW ME” and jumped in the raft.
I forgot a few things.
I remembered only the end relief, the joy of Easter and being able to see ahead on the journey.
After His baptism in the waters of the Jordan washed and identified as God’s beloved, Jesus walked right into the desert for 40 days. A trial of hunger, heat and temptation that I could never imagine but placed aside as Jesus being God and he could take it. But he came as a man, flesh and blood, heart beating and mind knowing the fate that would meet him on the cross. So my attempt to follow has me experiencing deep sorrow, great joy, a bit of fear and fatigue. God is blessing my journey. For just as Jesus heard God’s expression of love before he began the trip, I know God’s love and protection guide me and guard me through the rough waters, through the dry heat and temptation, to know that each step prepares me to follow him, because he asked.
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 ESV
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:29
The river of life will always have places of rough and calm. No matter where I am, even without a paddle, I am held safe being yoked to the teacher of Love. Paul said it best;
“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8: 38-39