When I was 16 years old I went on a float trip. I was not a strong swimmer, actually I was lucky if I could doggy paddle in a calm swimming pool, so a rushing river was the last place I should have ever been.
I will be showing my age with this next part… This was back in the days when car tires had inner tubes. We sat on the inner tubes with our back sides in the hole and floated with the current of the river. The most fun part of our float trip was when we would come to white water rapids. When we would reached the rapids we would go over rocks and the water would be so strong we would try hard not to let go of the tubes. I am not much of a sportsmanly type of person and this was my one and only float trip so for all you seasoned floaters forgive me for not knowing all the technical floating terms, just remember I made sure I never fell off my tube!
At one point of our journey one of my friend’s inner tubes popped and we had the brilliant idea to tie the inner tubes together with a rope and make one giant tube raft. We all piled on it and because I was not a good swimmer my place to ride was in the middle so I would not fall off.
All of us piled on one giant tube raft was actually much more fun and I actually felt much safer in the middle…that is until we reached some really strong rapids. As we were going over the rapids our raft became hung up on the rapids by the rope we had used to tie them together. Everyone else fell off, but my arm became tangled in the ropes and I was stuck under the water tied to the tubes. I kept somehow pulling my face out to breathe and was trying hard to get free but no matter how hard I tried I could not get my arm loose. I was tangled and the rope was digging into my arm from the force of the water. I remember feeling totally frightened and exhausted.
The current had taken my friends downstream so it took a while for them to get back to me, once they did they began trying to pull the rope off. Though they were trying hard to free me the water kept pulling on the tubes and me making the rope tighter on my arm. My arm began to turn purple because now the circulation was being cut off by the pull of the ropes, it was becoming numb and lifeless. No matter how hard they tried they could not get me loose it was a very scary and panicky situation.
In the midst of all the panic suddenly a voice yelled from the bank “Just stand up!” All the sudden we all realized the water was not over my head! The other kids were all standing around me but nobody had realized this?!?!
My friends began to help me stand up this released some of the pressure of the water pulling on the tubes and then others managed to pull the tubes up out of the water freeing them from the pull of the current, They were finally able to cut the ropes loose and set me free!
Today as I remembered this I got to thinking about how we can become this way in our lives too. Like my arm that had become tangled in the ropes and was turning purple from no circulation of blood, in our lives we can become so tangled in the circumstances of our troubles that we block off the life blood of Jesus that flows in us. The solution may be there right in front of us to take his hand and to ‘just stand up’ but instead we keep clinging to our own solutions. Our own solutions can bind us by dragging us down and pulling us under, sometimes causing us to drown.
Looking back I realize that I would have drowned that day in 3 or 4 foot of water had I not stood up. It took others to help me stand but once I listened and I stood up, my friends were able to remove the ropes setting me free, allowing me to live and enjoy the rest of the day.
You know Jesus can do the same in our lives.
How may times have I heard Him say, “just stand up!” but instead I stayed down struggling as the full force of the waves of life rushed over me to the point of almost drowning? Standing up is the first step to being set free. He will take our hands, help us stand and cut the ties that bind. He will not let us drown. We just have listen and trust in him He can help us and He can bring us joy again.
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Thank you for reading and God bless,