I have had several conversations about God’s grace over the last several months so I wanted to share this common analogy that God’s grace is like a river.
My family goes tubing every year on the Ichetucknee River. I love to get there early and start from the midway point so we beat the crowd that is starting from the top. We can spend an hour or more in peace and semi-quiet just enjoying the river and nature.
That is one of the images I have for God’s grace. When we are doing the will of God we are carried along in peace. We know that trouble will come in the way of rapids, but if we really trust God we will know how to handle those rapids because we have been training to do so.
We Spend a Lot Of Energy Fighting God’s Grace
I don’t know about you, but most of my life I have been a swimmer. Trying to fight the current and swim upstream. Trying to swim straight across the river and getting tired before I made it halfway. Or, I would see the rapids coming and didn’t trust God to get me through them.
The rapids of life will come, we can’t avoid them. Our challenge is not to avoid them, it is to trust our gear (Gods grace) to get us through them. I’m not saying that God puts the rapids there. People are people, and we are fallen. People make bad choices, our bodies break down, and things just happen.
We Can Go Against God’s Will
Many times our first thought, when bad things happen, is to blame God. God is not sitting around just waiting to cause something bad to happen to us. Cars break down, spouses leave, and people die. So instead of blaming God, we trust him to give us the strength to get through these times. Jesus even says that there will be bad times in your life but if you trust Him, He will help you get through it. (John 16:33, Matthew 11:28-30)
I have a friend who wrote a song called, Standing in the River. (Regrettably, it has never been published) He talks about how it only took a moment to make the wrong choice and change his life. It also only takes another moment to make the choice to let God in to help us get through the rough waters of life. God isn’t going to barge in. He stands at the door and patiently knocks. (Revelation 3:20)
Travelers on the Journey
By the time my family gets done with our first run on the Ichetucknee, the crowd is building and if we decide to go down the river a second time we can do it with hundreds of our closest friends. At the beginning of our journey on the river of God’s grace, we may seem alone. The longer we stay on the river the more people we will meet who are going our way.