“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my eye upon you.” (Psalm 32:8)
Dressed in helmets and life vests, our family grabbed our paddles and submerged our raft in the Ocoee River of Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee. We inhaled deeply as the white water swirled around our inflated boat and splashed us from head to toe as we maneuvered down the swirling, rocky riverbed.
What could have been a traumatizing ride became an exhilarating adventure, packed with delightful, scenic beauty. Where we could have been injured by the dangerous boulders or swept overboard by the raging rapids, we experienced instead a thrilling family expedition. Our confident, well‐equipped, and able‐bodied guide made all the difference.
This mountain man, with 22 years of experience directing rookies like us, knew every boulder by name and could navigate safely through the most dangerous waters without a single mishap. His strong arms kept us inside the boat, and his intricate knowledge of the river’s layout gave us confidence to trust his directions in the midst of harrowing spins and turns.
To stay on the riverbank and watch the action-packed scenario would have been safer, easier, and much drier. But, we would have missed out on this life-sized, fun-filled exploit. By trusting our guide’s every directive, by listening to his expertise, and by following his precise words, we made it through a treacherous course uninjured and supremely elated.
Our river guide taught us a thing or two about rafting and safety, but more significantly, he reminded us about the inestimable value of having Jesus as our faithful Guide. Our Shepherd knows the way, is familiar with every curve and rapidly flowing course, and has the power and wisdom to guide us safely through. As children of the Living God, we get to follow his lead, listen for his voice, and be protected by his capable arms.
Life’s unpredictable currents and dangerous curves are still controlled by the voice and the hand of our Sovereign Guide.