The trip to Nantahala takes about 2 1/2 hours. For the last several miles of the journey, the road actually follows alongside the river. This gives you the opportunity to watch other people whitewater rafting before you ever reach your destination.
As nervous as I was, I didn't think it would be a good idea for me to watch other people. I thought it would scare me more than I already was (if that were possible.) However, when you follow the river for that long, you can't help but look. And so, I watched, and I found that I was actually feeling better. The water didn't look that rough at all. In fact, it seemed like the rafts were barely bouncing as they floated along.
I can do this, I thought. Little did I know I was in for another lesson.
The water is rougher than it looks! Within a few minutes of actually being in the boat, I realized just how choppy the water really was. The ride wasn't smooth as I had expected after watching other rafters. Why had it suddenly become so rough? It hadn't. I had fooled myself into thinking that it was calm water and that I was fully capable of smooth sailing. I fully realized my mistake after about an hour on the river. Our guides had an activity planned, so we steered the rafts over to shore. When I stepped into the water, the undercurrent swept my legs right out from under me. The water was that violent . . . and this was a "smooth spot!" What a shock when I fell face first into the water.
Life has surprises too, doesn't it? Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking that all is smooth sailing, then WHAM! We're face down in freezing water. Why do we do that? Why do we convince ourselves that we are invincible? Why is it so hard for us to admit that we need God?
I can already hear some of you saying, "I'm not like that. I know I need God." Well, I know it too, but I don't always act like it. When I was a child, I asked Jesus to save me, acknowledging that I couldn't get to Heaven on my own. Since then, however, I find myself racing ahead of God time and time again, doing the things that would be better off if I left them in His hands.
My problem? I hate waiting! You see, God has a purpose and a plan for everything, and even though I know that He knows best, I grow impatient as I wait for Him to meet my needs. I often take the attitude,
Fine! If you won't help me, I'll help myself!
And, before long, I find my feet swept out from underneath me. The current is too strong. My strength is insufficient.
Life is tough. If you haven't already discovered that, you will soon. We can't make it through alone. No matter how strong we think we are. No matter how smooth the path before us looks. We can't do it alone. And praise the Lord, we don't have to!
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. - II Corinthians 12:9a