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Thursday, 22 July 2010

The River

The sun is warm, the breeze gentle.
I sit, my legs up under me, relishing the warmth of the sun and soft caress of the breeze’s soft fingers.
I sit, safely, on a big Cornerstone: strong, big, heavy, sturdy, unmoving … solid.  I know I can fly to this Rock to escape the river, which rushes so quickly by this strong Rock.
For a while I am happy, joyful to sit, comfortably resting on this Rock … the Rock of my Refuge and Salvation.  It brings me great delight to sit here, resting upon its surface.
But, soon, my mind begins to wander.  My eyes begin to scan the landscape and river about me.
My eyes come to rest on the river.  So clear and inviting.  Here, beside the Rock, it laps quietly and un-menacingly against the side of my safe place.
Although I am happy and content I begin to wonder what it might feel like to dip my toes into the river’s coolness.
It is so gentle here, by the Rock, unlike the middle of the river, which races and rushes and overpowers.
But here, here it whispers so smoothly.  It calls me to just dip the very tips of my toes in.
I know I shouldn’t.  I need to stay on my Rock, strong and secure.  But if I dip just the tippy-tips of my toes in, technically I still will remain on the Rock.  Of course I shall not be fully remaining on my Refuge, but it’s just my toes.
I debate only a little before I cannot resist.
Quickly I dip just the tips of my toes in before pulling them just as quickly back out.
Little ripples bob away from where I disturbed the water, shimmering in the sunlight.
The coolness on my toes is quickly disappearing making me long to again feel the cool water on my toes.
Again there is a tug at my mind as I am reminded that I am not to leave the Rock.  I try to convince myself, as before, that I am not leaving the Rock, just playing with the water.
Once again the water’s temptation is too much and I put my toes in the water.  But this time it’s not just my toes, but now my foot.
It’s so new and exciting.  I kick a little, sending diamond-like water drops dancing in the air.  Such beauty!
Another kick, more glistening drops.  It’s so beautify!  I love it.
I kick a few more times, loving the feel and look of the water.
I stop and just let my feet hang in the water.
My eyes widen as I realize the water level now reaches half way up my calf.
Quickly I pull my feet up and out of the water.  Hugging my knees the water rolls off my legs and feet, damping the Rock.
Slowly and somewhat scared I glance around to see if anyone saw how far I’d let my legs go in the water.
No one else sitting near by seems to have noticed.
I relax a bit as a deep sigh rushes from my frame.
That was too close!  What if someone had seen me?
Then I freeze.  What if He had seen me?
Thoughts and fears race through my mind, much like the racing river.
Slowly I turn around, trying to appear casual in my looking.
My eyes fall upon His house.  It’s not far from my Rock, I know if He’d been looking He could easily have seen the joy that I derived from something besides Him and my Rock.  The shame!
I turn my eyes back to the river.  Another sigh.  Maybe He didn’t see.
Then I remember that He is always watching.  That he sees everything, all the time.
My eyes lift quickly to focus on a distant spot and slowly, guiltily, I lift my head.  I dare not move.  It’s almost like I can feel His eyes on my right now!
What will He do?  Will He be enormously angry with me?
More fears rush by in my head.
Reluctantly I turn my head again to look at His house.
It looks much bigger now than it did before.
I hide as much of my face as I can behind my shoulder, my eyes scanning fearfully for His frame.
I watch a little while.  Nothing happens.
Even more questions and fears in my mind.
I don’t know what to do so I turn my head back around.
After some time of waiting for something to happen, but finding nothing does, I relax once again.
I go sometime without yielding to the river’s temptation.  Yet, even though I yield not, the pull and temptation are very strong.
One day, while feeling particularly down and weak, my eyes wander to the water.  This is becoming somewhat of a habit.  I enjoy watching the water run by in such a carefree way and deeply long to again feel its coolness.
Watching others enjoy the river’s wet silkiness is also very hard for me.  They look so happy and they look like they enjoy it, how could it possibly be bad?  Why has He told me to not even touch it?
Ever since that one time of feeling the water I have held myself in check physically from touching the water.
Today, however, I am unable to resist and chose not to obey the order given by Him to stay out of the water.
Slowly I slip my feet beneath the sparkling surface.  Yet it does not fill me with the same satisfaction as it had the first time and I long to feel more of the water.
Paying no attention to the pull at my heart and mind to resist, I scoot as far as I can to the edge of my Rock and submerge as much of my legs as possible.
I am surprised to find that the water is not as deep as I thought and that by sitting as far out as I can, my feet touch the river bottom.
This information brings me new and interesting excitement along with the curiosity of wondering what it would feel like to stand on the river bottom, the water’s silky fingers brushing my legs.
I know it is wrong for me to have any part of my body in the water, but to actually stand in the water?  Would it be unpardonable?
I know I shouldn’t, but curiosity takes over and before I know it I have carelessly pushed myself from my Refuge Rock and am standing in the water.
I almost gasp, but don’t.  I lift the hem of my dress a bit higher to avoid the wetness.
Sand squishes around my feet as I just stand there.
It feels wonderful.  Cool and refreshing.
I stand a moment before looking over my shoulder.  I can see His house, I know I should climb back onto the Rock, I have not gone so far that I cannot go back.
I turn away, back to the water.
But it feels so good!  What is so wrong with this?
I lift my foot from the sand and break the surface of the water with my toes.  I can see the sand washing away in the gentle current.
Bringing my foot back down I plant it further away from where it had previously been.
If I wanted to I could easily switch my weight to that foot and that would bring me even deeper into the water.
I hesitate, then take a step.
I freeze, almost expecting some awful river creature to come and swallow me whole for my wrongdoing.
Nothing happens.
Slightly surprised that nothing happened I take another step.  I drop my eyes to the water and my dress catches my eye.
My dress, once crisp, clean and white, a gift from Him, is now soggy and dirty on the hem.  He told me, when He’d given me my new clothes, to keep them pure and clean.  Now the grimy looking hem proved I had not.
But, maybe I could clean it.  It was, after all, just the hem.
I push the thoughts aside and continue to walk carefully about in the water, which is quickly climbing to my knees.
The feel of the water, the new experience, makes me forget my worries.  Soon I’m happily jumping and walking around in the river.
So caught up in the experience I don’t notice how the water has risen and is moving much faster now.
Then, all of a sudden, the ground beneath my feet vanishes.  I stepped off the edge of a drop-off.
Water covers my head and I’m lost and confused.
I flail my arms, trying to fight my way to the surface, whichever way that is.
My air is running out and I can’t figure out which way is up.
Everything is dark, I’m scared.
Finally my head breaks through the water and I refill my lungs in a gasp only to sink back down again.
Kicking my legs and moving my arms brings me to the top again.
Another gasp.
I quickly open my eyes, trying to figure out where I am and where I should go.
I can see the shore, His house, I know where safety is, I just can’t get there.
I sink again.
The water, once cool, clear and inviting is now dark, fierce and threatening.  Almost as if it’s pulling me down further into its depths.
Kicking even more furiously than before I come above water once more.
Gasping and coughing I try to yell for help but cannot.
Down again.
More kicking, more struggling.  Choking in the water.
Up again.  I’m tired, weary, afraid, I can’t do this!
“Jesus!” I cough out.
Down under I go, only this time I do not have the strength to fight any more.  I sink further than before but I’ve used up all my strength.
Then, from seemingly out of nowhere, a strong hand wraps around my arm and pulls me back up.
Still too tired to move I just let myself be lifted up out of the water and carried in someone’s strong, protective arms.
I notice how easily and smoothly this person walks through the rushing river, as if it wasn’t there at all.
Once at the shore I’m laid once again on my Rock.
Breathing heavily I lie there with my eyes closed.
I can feel the presence of someone kneeling beside me.
Slowly I open my eyes.
It’s Him!
Ashamed, excited, afraid and guilty I just look into His kind face.
I cannot tell what He’s thinking.
“Jesus.  I’m … I’m so sorry.”
“I know.”
“I didn’t mean to go that far.  I couldn’t stop.”
“I know.”
“I disobeyed.  I’ve shamed You.”
“I know.”
I stop, each softly spoken “I know” still in my ears.  Images of Him saving me come to my mind.
“You … You know and You … You still saved me?”
“Why would I just let you drown?”
“Because I did not listen to You.”
A smile lifts His mouth.  “I am not like that.  Just because you disobey doesn’t mean I’ll not help you when you call.”
I frown.  “You heard me?  But it was only once and I was choking.  How could You have heard me?”
“I was waiting for you to realize you needed Me.  That you couldn’t do it on your own.  I was watching you.  I always hear when My people call for Me, even if it’s only whispered.”
It takes me a short while to fully understand His kindness and love.
“And child.”
I look into His eyes.
“When you are tempted, come to Me.  Resist the river and come.  I will help you and strengthen you.  I will help you.  I am all you need.  My grace is enough for you.”



  1. Hello! my name is Amera, a 14 year old who is somewhat new to blogging and happened to come across this beautiful allegory that you composed. Thank you for your encouraging reminder of Jesus' love!


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