I was raised near the South Canadian River in a small town in Oklahoma. My family spent a lot of time on that river, noodling and swimming and searching for morels. I have always understood the power of its raging waters after the spring floods. A fact that was made all too clear to me when my brother, Robin, took me with him one day to hunt for arrowheads. There had just been a heavy rain, and he knew this was a great time to find them. Farmers had just plowed their fields for the spring planting, and the rain would help expose any treasure we sought.
We walked to the river from our house. It was just a couple of miles. Robin was too young to drive at the time, which meant that I was only about 10 years old at the most. You should be aware that my brother was pretty much fearless, and I greatly admired and looked up to him. I would never want to expose any weakness I had to him. The field he wanted to hunt in lay just off the banks of the river. To get to it, we had to cross a little branch that ran into the river. Little, most of the time, but not after a deluge of rain. As we came upon it, I was shocked at how big it was, and the water was raging to reach its mouth and converge into the South Canadian. It was very scary looking. There seemed to be no way to cross. It looked as though we would have to backtrack several miles or end our adventure for the day.
On the river, there were the remnants of a large cable system. I believe it was in some way connected to the oil fields that were there. I’m not 100% sure what it had been used for, but they were high above the river and there were even some old cars still attached. Along the system were tributary cables for stabilization that were lower. One of these cables ran across that branch. Robin assessed the situation. He realized there was no way to safely cross the swollen branch…by land. He announced, “We’ll have to shimmy across. You go first. I’ll follow right behind you.” Before I could protest or debate, he lifted me up to reach the cable. I was quite scared; we could see the mouth of the branch and the rapidly flowing waters of the South Canadian. The river was in no condition for noodling or swimming. I knew if I fell in it wouldn’t end well. “You can do it. Don’t worry. Don’t look down – just slide across. I’m right behind you,” he said as I wrapped my legs up and began to move along the thick cable. I never said a word. I just kept going. If he believed I could do it – I could do it. I totally trusted him. When we touched ground on the other side, I was so relieved! But I soon realized, we would have to do this again on the way back home. It was hard to enjoy the hunt – even though I found my first arrowhead – the dread of crossing that cable again had me by the throat.
The return trip was worse. The first time, the water was scary but I hadn’t known what we were going to do. This time I had plenty of time to dwell on it. All aspects of it. What if my arm suddenly broke? How cold was the water? Could I swim good enough? How long could I hold my breath? Would I crash into some rocks? Could I keep my head above water? What does it feel like to drown? Yet I said nothing. Once again we crossed – me first with Robin right behind. This time when we reached ground on the other side, my relief was most evident. I bent over and let out a huge sigh. I just hung there a minute as Robin reached the ground. Then I popped up and asked, “What would you of done if I fell?” Without hesitation he answered, “I’d of jumped in after you.” A wave of pride and love swept over me. I felt in that moment he loved me so much, as I loved him. I inquired, “You would…really?” “Yeah,” he said, “mom and dad would kill me anyway!” Then he grabbed me by the arm and we started the journey home.
My relationship with Jesus is a lot like this. When I am afraid, or think I can’t do something, He is right there with me. Believing in me. Encouraging me. Supporting me. You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you, John 15:16. I totally trust Him. He chose me. When I find myself struggling with something I believe He is leading me to do, I just remember how much I trust Him. I may not understand the particular circumstances at the time, but I trust Him. So…I don’t need to understand the circumstances. I just need to understand Him, and He did die for me. If you can’t trust someone who died for you, literally…who can you trust? I can’t doubt that He loves me. He does. He proved that love on the cross. No matter what life throws my way, I don’t doubt the love of Jesus. Ever.
One of my favorite verses recently is Hosea 6:3 –
Let us strive to know the Lord. His appearance is as sure as the dawn. He will come to us like the rain, like the spring showers that water the land.
“He will come to us like the rain,” I love the symbolism of that. “Like the spring showers that water the land,” just think of it. The rain falls down upon you. Covers you from head to toe until you are soaking with it. Drenched. And it does this to bring forth life. Sustenance. For you. For me. I crave that feeling. More than anything. God’s love to envelope me. Let me drown in it, Lord! That is the Holy Spirit within us.
To access that Spirit, you must have a relationship with God. Relationships are built on trust. Believe, my fellow Christian, God trusts you already. You, nor the whole world would even still be here if He did not. He trusted us enough to send His Son here to die for us. All you need to do is show that trust in return. Believe He loves you at all times, but especially when things are bad. Talk to Him. Worship Him and learn about Him. When you build a relationship with Him, you will be able to feel Him all around you. He’s everywhere. He’s in the rain, even when it becomes a flood. And He’s on that cable you are crossing over life’s raging waters. He’s right behind you, believing in you, and encouraging you to make it to the other side.
May God Bless You!
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