Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Being Kept From Being Swept Away

I learned something very exciting last evening, although it was not exciting when it happened. It was a bit frightening.


Remember yesterday's blog about how proud I was of my swimming dog? Well, I decided to take Lucy for a short hike that leads down to a river. Lucy loves the river, but she usually only wades. I thought I'd continue our swimming lessons by throwing the ball into the deeper water, the current. Bad idea. Of course, now that Lucy swims unafraid, she ventured unflinchingly into the current to retrieve the ball. Except she got stuck. Yes, I watched my dog do the doggie paddle as if she were swimming in place. She was going nowhere. The only reason she wasn't being swept downstream was because she was just on the edge of a big rock that prevented her from being swept away. Luckily, she's a dumb blonde, who is too stupid to know that she wasn't going anywhere. She just kept swimming all proud that she caught the ball. She never panicked. But I did. I thought, "Oh, no, my dog is not going anywhere. She seems to be stranded out there. What should I do?"

I realized that I'd have to go in and save her. I'm ashamed to admit that my first thought was, "How am I going to get out there without getting my shoes wet?" Hey, I'm a girl. Girls think that way, right? (Right, ladies???) I mean, the water was only halfway up to my knees, if that. It wasn't like I really had to worry about anything (besides my shoes, which by the way are hiking shoes which have seen better days). On the other side of the rock, where Lucy was treading water, it was just a tad deeper, but the current was obviously swift enough to carry a 55 pound dog away. 

I was able to hop rocks onto the big rock without getting wet and simply reached in and pulled Lucy up by the collar onto the rock, where she then ambled over to the shore. I have to hand it to her---she never lost her grip on that tennis ball!

Afterwards, I sort of marveled at how calm I was. I kind of panicked, but didn't show it. It took me a minute to think of what to do and how to do it, but I just sort of did it. And I never got my shoes wet!

So what's the lesson I learned? Lucy is not a strong swimmer.Typically, neither are we when we first venture out into the unknown. We may have trained for it, but even if we did, nothing prepares us for the swift currents that come. Swimming in a calm pond is one thing. Being tossed into a quickly moving river is another. 

But the beautiful thing is that if we do find ourselves treading water, swimming nowhere, being trapped by a big Rock that is saving us from being swept away in the current, we have a Master who is not afraid to get His sandals wet. He will calmly hop the obstacles to rescue us. He will pull us up and place our feet firmly on His Rock, where we can rest, or simply amble back to safety. He is always there. He never leaves us. He doesn't toss the ball into the current and then walk away. And as long as we know that our Master, our Lord will always be there to rescue us, we need not worry, we need not be anxious.

So many scriptures come to mind:
 Do not be anxious about anything...(Phil 4:6). He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock, and gave me a firm place to stand (Ps 40:2)  Be not far from me, O God; come quickly to help me O Lord, my Savior (Ps 39:21-22). Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord you God will be with you wherever you go (Jos 1:9). 

I think I'll stick with the calm pond for the time being. Lucy does much better in calm water. And so do I. It's always good to remember that we must work up to more difficult challenges. It's a process. But God is always there to rescue us, even when we think we're ready and we find ourselves in over our heads, or treading water in the swift current. He is a good God.

Blessings Along the Path and in the Swift Current,
Mary

Song of the Day
River (Bluetree)

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