It was supposed to be an enjoyable outing with our kids and friends, leisurely canoeing down the Jack’s Fork river.
We rented canoes, got our instructions and it was decided that the least experienced in our group would partner with the more experienced.
When I learned that there was one particular curve where the currents would rush you towards a smash landing and that it would take all the arm power one could muster to detour it, I opted to go with someone very experienced.
That would be Dave, because he had done this river several times.
So, on down the river we went.
My kids and their friends floated by. Rick floated along with some of our kids as well.
I noticed that there was a canoe keeping pace with us that had some serious partiers aboard. They had hit the bottle and were enjoying their ride with extra gusto!
We enjoyed the beautiful view and continued on our journey until Dave mentioned we better be prepared because we were approaching the curve.
Not knowing exactly what to expect but with anticipation, I felt confident that we could handle it!
I had my oars tightly gripped and as we came around the bend, I could see what to me looked like violent rapids! This was no faster paced, churning water, but rather a foaming peril that wanted to take us out!
What was I thinking anyway when I agreed to this adventure? Note to self: “Next time, offer to stay home and clean up after lunch!”
With all our strength, we oared against it.
Sadly enough, we were no match for the force swirling around us and we found ourselves plunged into the water and swept downstream.
I landed in a heap of debris that I clung to as the currents tried to pull me under. I was terrified as to what would happen if I let go!
Was there a waterfall I would be thrust over and dashed upon the rocks? Where was Dave anyway, and was he even alive?!
I saw my husband assessing my dilemma and he quickly began to steer his canoe to the shore to see if he could somehow retrieve me from my difficult circumstances.
The inebriated canoers had seen our demise and they were trying to get to me to do the same. Everyone was in full rescue mode as my arms began to weary of holding onto the twigs and branches against the raging current.
Finally, before anyone could reach me, I let go.
Traveling with the current swiftly around the bend and sure that I would soon meet sudden death, I came to a peaceful stop on a sand bar. There, sitting in the sand, trying to retrieve our wet belongings was Dave!
I began to grasp the picture that as I was in these unfamiliar waters and fighting to hang on for dear life, Dave knew to let go because he would land safely around the bend!
His experience gave him the confidence that I had lacked because of my inexperience.
He could trust the water and the results because he had been in them before. I was operating totally out of the unknown.
This episode in my life has always reminded me of why it is so important to develop our trust and faith in God. We must build on what we know about Him to be true.
Our confidence in him can grow to the point that the trials of life don’t find us paralyzed in fear because we have been down this path before and we know the outcome. He provides.
Looking back now, I can laugh at this incident, despite the fact that it truly was one of my most sheepishly embarrassing moments!
I must admit though, that it has been one of those life lessons that will always stay with me.
In it I have learned that the more I am familiar with Christ and the more that I know He will land me in a safe place, the more confidence I will have to trust Him with whatever lies around the bend!