The canyon narrows, the river forms a massive pool, and it looks like the edge of nothingness as the side walls of the gorge drop out of site, and yet the water goes somewhere. The water under the raft flows calmly and slowly, with purpose, moving towards the edge of whatever lies ahead. A half mile of rollercoaster waves at least three stories tall, massive holes and waves caused by gargantuan rocks and water flowing over and around them await you, the boat, your fellow passengers and the Guide. Slowly, you crest the top of the drop. The water funnels into what looks like a huge “V” as you just went from sitting and being nervous to realizing that this is happening right now and there is nothing you can do about it.
You and the raft drop down the first series of waves and around the first few holes, the lump in your throat is there, but you’re okay. You look around at the other folks is the boat, some have their eyes squeezed shut, mouths wide open, and screaming bloody murder as if it was the end of the world. Some sit, wide eyed and not able to do anything, appearing to be paralyzed. One or two of the folks are confident, holding on and ready for anything. They have faith in the Guide. You do too.
You look back and sitting there, in control of the oars and everything else, you see Him, the Guide. A long haired Jesus with a big smile on his face, a caring yet determined look in his eye and the ability to control not only every move of the raft as you go down the gorge, but the river itself, the rocks that formed the canyon, the sun and stars above. He and his father, know what they are doing.
As we ride this unknown river down the next section, especially during Lent, we can be reminded that Jesus has been there, he knows what we are feeling, and he knows what it is like. He is in control; he holds all the cards and knows the way things turn out.
He has known from before the very beginning:
- the how and the why of the creation of the universe,
- the way that he would enter his creation, as a small helpless child,
- the way he would live, learn and work until it was time for him to make himself known,
- the way some would accept and others reject him and his Father,
- the way he would sacrifice his life for us, because he loved us so.
- the way he would rise from the dead,
- And, the way that we can spend all eternity with him.
“I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” (Psalm 91:2)
Jim Anderson, elder