Friday, May 4, 2012

The River

My life is a river.  I stand on the edge, my toes hanging over the rushing waters.  If I stop long enough to take my focus off the rapids in front of me, and lift up my head, I see a gorgeous green meadow on the other side.  Its the future I hope for, its my own personal happy ending. I want more than anything to get there, but the way looks too hard, too challenging, and a bit scary.  I look around for another way.  There has got to be an easier way, perhaps a bridge which will carry me over the troubled waters. But there isn't.  There is only one path to the other side... through the river.

So I step out, one small step into the edge of the river, and a hand reaches out to me.  Its Jesus.  I was too focused on the challenges ahead that I didn't even see Him standing in the rough waters, stable and steady.  He was waiting, ready to help me walk across.  With His hand in mine I find the courage to take a step. One step at a time I begin my journey to the other side. I slip, I stumble, I get pushed around by the crashing of the waves.  But Jesus isn't moved.  Despite my instability, He is planted solid, like a rock. And He doesn't ever loosen His grip.  As I grab on tighter to Him, my step becomes more firm, and  begin to slip less.  He matches my efforts each step of the way.  And before I know it, we are safe on the banks of the river, no longer being threatened by the rough waters.  We have reached the other side! The meadow! My glorious future is right there before me!

It is then I notice Jesus.  One hand is still holding on to mine, but the other, oddly enough is pointing back.  Why is His attention focused back there? We just conquered together the impossible feat, the last place I want to look is back.  But there it points.  I just arrived, and can only think about relaxing in the meadow.  But His hand points back. And His gaze is intense.  As I look into His eyes I see a sadness I hadn't noticed before.  Just then a tear rolls down His face.  At that moment I muster the courage to look back, for I must know what it is that has moved Jesus to compassion, when it seems we should be celebrating.  I turn my head, and at that moment I am captured with that same compassion He has.  For at the edge of the banks stands a woman, toes hanging over the edge, scared of whats ahead.  She's doing the same thing I was.  Her eyes roam the banks, looking for another way, an easier path.  And the more she looks, the faster tears stream down her face.  I can see it on her face the moment she realizes the only way to the meadow is through the river.

Jesus looks at me, still holding my hand, with a question in his eyes.  He doesn't say a word.  He doesn't have to.  I know exactly what He is thinking.  "So, what are you gonna do?"  I know Jesus won't let go of my hand and go back, so He waits on me.  He will only go where I go.  I look up at the beautiful meadow, the sun shining down on the trees, the flowers in bloom, its seems to be calling my name.  Then I look back at the woman.  I see the clouds above her, I hear the rapids in the river crashing on the rocks.  I remember how hard it was to cross that river.  I remember how Jesus helped me each step, and if I had to have done it alone I may not have made it.  I begin to think about turning back, not for ever, but just for now.  The meadow will be there, and maybe I would enjoy it more if I wasn't alone.  But what about the river? The current, the rocks, the sudden dips in the river bed.  Could I navigate that again?  Seeing the look in the woman's eyes, as fearful as mine were a short time ago, made me realize that I must.  I must go back and help her.

I slowly make my way across the river, and as I head over to help the woman in my shoes, I notice I'm slipping less, my feet are more sure.  As I begin to pay better attention to the dips in the river bed, and where the rocks are, my walk gets easier.  Jesus, still along side me, looks at me with a warm smile.  We reach the edge and we wait.  My eyes are on the woman, but she doesn't see me.  She's too scared to notice. Tears are flowing down her face, and falling right at my feet in the river.  I just wait.  Just as Jesus waited for me. Then she does it.  She steps in the river.  All of a sudden she sees me standing there. Through her tears I can see her relief.  She's still scared, but knowing she doesn't have to go it alone, she grabs my hand.  She looks in my eyes as I softly whisper, "you will get through this.  It may be hard, it may hurt, but you won't be going it alone. I've walked this path you are walking.  Are you ready?"  She nods at me, tears still flowing, and takes the first step.

6 comments:

  1. one of my spots to go online for grief help is www.griefriver.com

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    1. Again, another accidental deletion. So sorry.

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    1. Thank you Shannon. I am confident God has placed the right women in your life to help you. Just as He will place you in others when the time is right. Just remember you don't have to be finished with the process before you can look back and see others waiting for help!

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    2. Oh no I am so sorry I accidentally removed your comment. It was beautiful too. Please forgive me. :( That shows me I should be more careful when blogging at midnight!

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