DayBreaks for 07/25/11 – Knowing Where It Is Safe
Palmer Chinchen, in True Religion, tells the following story:
My brothers and I had traveled to the western edge of Zimbabwe to raft the Zambezi River. We boarded our raft at the base of the Victoria Falls. Massive amounts of water spilled over the top of the giant falls and dropped almost a thousand feet; the roar was deafening. The falls are the largest in the world, more than a mile wide and three hundred feet high. Mist from the spray that fills the air like fog can be seen for fifty miles; the locals call it “Smoke That Thunders.” The water from the falls rushes down the gorge in torrents, creating the world’s largest rapids. In the United States, the highest-class rapid you are allowed to raft is a Class 5. The Zambezi’s whitewater rapids can top 7 and 8 ….
As I sat on the edge of the eight-person raft, all suited up in a tight, overstuffed jacket and a thick crash helmet, I felt like an over cautious tourist about to mount an overpowered moped in Honolulu or rent roller-blades on Huntington Beach. The Zambezi can’t be that dangerous, can it?
But then our guide [said], “When the raft flips …” There was no “If the raft flips” or “Or on the off-chance we get flipped.” But “When the raft flips.” He went on, “… stay in the rough water. You will be tempted to swim toward the stagnate water at the edge of the banks. Don’t do it. Because it is in the stagnate water that the crocs wait for you. They are large and hungry. Even when the raft flips, stay in the rough water.”
Several thoughts spring to mind from this story:
FIRST: we think we know where to go to be safe, we even have a natural instinct that smooth, quiet water is safer than raging whitewater…but our instincts are wrong and we must fight against them many times if we are to safely survive. There are hidden dangers we can’t see when we run to self-help guru’s, secular advisors and counselors, etc., rather than the Spirit and the Word.
SECOND: it is in the calm waters from the story that people will face death. The crocodiles won’t venture into the churning whitewater. Stagnancy, complacency, a desire to just “go with the flow” will kill the spirit. It is in the rough water that we pour our lives into others as Christians, because unbelievers are in life-threatening waves and they need the Life Preserver that Christ offers!
THIRD: when there is no spiritual “adventure” to our lives, we are in danger of drifting in our faith: So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. – Hebrews 2:1 The rafters had to listen carefully to the truth of the lesson of white water versus smooth water – to not do so would have been deadly.
PRAYER: We fear white waters, Lord, but help us remember that we are never there alone, you are with us in the boat and we need not fear! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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