As Waters Gone By...
"Yet if you devote your heart to Him, and stretch out your hands to Him, if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then you will lift up your face without shame; you will stand firm and without fear. You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by." Job 11:13-16
When I was 7 months pregnant with my daughter, I went on a rafting trip with our church group. It was a relatively calm river with no perceived dangers so I didn't have any hesitation about going. Needless to say, because of my delicate condition, my boat was the place to be for all the other wives who didn't want to be continuously capsized by our horse-playing husbands during the entire 3-hour journey.
The Sissy Raft was barely 20 minutes into the trip when it was caught by a rock and I was thrown overboard, heels over head. I was then trapped under the boat as it began to move again when a man in another raft noticed what was happening, dove into the water, and helped get me back into my own boat. Where was my husband you ask? Several boats ahead, UNAWARE that both his unborn child and I were about to drown. I'm not bitter about it. Really.
I can think of that day now and laugh, but there were several moments of panic while I was under that boat. I was naive to think there was no risk. Thankfully, that day only resulted in a few cuts and bruises for me, but without that hand to pull me out of the water, I hate to think what could have been. Less bizarre things have happened than a person tragically drowning during a day which began as fun.
Sometimes, we make a game of floating on our waters, our sins, our troubles, until suddenly we find ourselves in over our heads in panic mode. When we first jump in that icy water, the shock is enough to take your breath but the longer you remain, the more numb to it you become. After a while, those waters can actually feel pretty good. A relationship with a coworker of the opposite sex gets too close and you can't get out. Concern about a sister in Christ turns to gossip and she finds out. You are feeling over-aged and under-appreciated so you decide to start letting it all hang out. Bitterness over a betrayal borders dangerously near hatred and you don't want out.
God's Word to you? GET OUT!
There is a Hand extended that says, 'Come to me and I will give you rest'. (Matthew 11:28) God desires to pull us from those dangerous waters to steady ground where we can be objective about the situations Satan will use to devour our testimony. Obviously we will never be perfect, but we can live a life of clear conscience. Conscience is a great word that means, 'to see completely'. I want to know when I lay my head down at night that I am fully confessed and that there is nothing I am holding on to, no waters I am floating in, that will hinder God being able to use me to the point of full effectiveness or cause great pain to myself and others.
Job 11 continues by saying:
"Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety. You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid, and many will court your favor."
God desires nothing but your good and His glory. Satan is working towards your destruction and his glory. You can float in those waters, or watch them pass by. Which will you choose?
Here is a lesson best learned from the creek bank - Get out before it finds you out.
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