When I was in my early twenties we went whitewater rafting. We didn’t have a whole lot of money, so we opted to go without a guide. You know, because we’re smart that way…
Before we left, the man who helped us in our raft said, “Whatever you do, don’t go over the rapids backwards, you could fall out of the boat. If that happens, put your toes up and out of the water because if you don’t, your feet will end up trapped under a rock and you’ll die.” He was so comforting…
Sure enough, we went over a rapid backwards and I fell out of the boat. I immediately put my toes out of the water and chanted out loud through fear and panic, “Keep your toes out, keep your toes out, keep your toes out!” After what felt like an eternity, my husband reached out his hand and pulled me back inside the raft.
Before my rescue, I was flailing around in that water among all of those dead rocks that potentially threatened my life. The problem was that the person sitting in front of me had stopped paddling. You have to paddle through the rapids. If you don’t, the raft will spin around and you’ll go over backwards.
When we take our eyes off Christ, it’s impossible to live still inside His presence. We end up going over the rapids of life backwards, flailing around. It’s then that we become in danger of dying ourselves. And if we are facing any type of grief, the rapids just get tougher and it becomes tempting to try to fix things ourselves rather than look to Jesus.
C.S. Lewis said, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”
We all know that life is full of grief. There is heartbreak from a multitude of happenings in the day-to-day that causes us to suffer on the inside. It’s what we do with the grief that ultimately makes the difference.
Grief does feel a lot like fear because it threatens to hinder us from what we are called to do.
We fear losing the purpose we were created for when grief strips who we are and exposes our deepest layers. Raw and real, mangled and mystified, we struggle to make sense of who we are supposed to be.
Are you having a difficult time using your gift because of the grief you’re enduring? Does stillness seem impossible?
When we choose to “keep paddling” through the grief, we not only aid in the healing process of others, but we allow ourselves to be healed.
Remember, being still in His presence actually means moving within it at His pace.
If, today, you find yourself flailing around trying to keep your “toes up,” His strong arm will pull you back inside. Keep your eyes focused and keep paddling through it, friend.
With a simple yes or no in the comments, are you flailing in the water?
I want to pray for you today…
May we all continue paddling through grief with our eyes focused on You. May we not lose sight of the gifts You’ve given. Help us to use them to show love and grace. Pull those who are out of the safe place of your stillness back inside, and let each one know Your love today.
PS: In honor of Write 31 Days I’m having a special giveaway. If you subscribe to my blog via email, Amazon will send you a kindle edition of my book, Nothing to Hold but Hope, as a gift. The offer is good through October 7th 2015.
If you’ve missed any part of this series, just click here.