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Let Go!
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“Let go of the rope! Take my hand!” yelled our guide over the roar of the rapids.

The rope was my lifeline. How could I let go?

We’d just heard stories of rafting trips gone seriously wrong—of river guides losing their lives to save the lives of their passengers. “Sit on the edge, keep your feet tucked under, and don’t let go of the rope unless you’re the one with a paddle.”

I was doing that. So was the young boy across from me. Suddenly, we were both flying. His parents and the guide quickly retrieved him, but I was struggling in the churning current to keep my head above water and to stay with the raft. Thank heavens for the side rope I managed to grab.

The guide had grasped me by one hand and pulled with all his might until he realized something besides the force of the current was holding me back. “Let go!”

If I let go and couldn’t reach his hand, I’d belong to the frenzied river—me who couldn’t swim and had a terror of the water. My lifejacket, buoying me up, seemed somehow inconsequential.

I looked into the face of that young stranger pleading for trust, gathered my courage and reached for his hand. Seconds later I was back in the raft. “Hold on! We’re heading into a Class 4!”

What Could Be More Relaxing?

A few hours earlier my husband and I had arrived at Cumberland Falls State Park, Ken. looking for a weekend away from the stresses that pressed on us. This brief respite was our “vacation.” We needed that time together. What could be more relaxing than rafting down a river? It looked wide and lazy at the base of the low falls. People with children were signing up. Surely two soon-to-be grandparents could handle it.

Reflecting on how I clung to a rope that could no longer be useful to me, I think of other things I cling to that are often useless, like personal agendas, opinions, judgments, and “the way I’ve always done things.”   

Some of those “ropes,” like pride, are made of sand. Others, such as worry, remorse, fear of the unknown, and living in the past, are chains of iron, dragging me down.

So much to grasp onto; so much that can’t save.

Thankfully, the Master of the “rivers” in my life has promised: “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened; that it cannot save; nor his ear heavy that it cannot hear” (Isaiah 59:1).

When I find myself in stressful “rapids,” I remember: “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me. The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy O Lord, endures forever; do not forsake the works of Your hands” (Psalm 138:7, 8).

What a Pilot! What a Savior!

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By Lois Pecce. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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