One of the most important things you learn when you go whitewater rafting is how to stay in the boat. There are no ropes or handles to hold onto. Plus, your hands are busy holding tight to your paddle, so you have to hold on with your feet. You sit on the edge of the raft and tuck your feet firmly into little compartments that are formed by the shape of the boat. That's it! That is all that is holding you in. If your feet are not firmly secured, you'll find yourself floating down the river without the aid of a raft. (Note: Because of how you have to tuck your feet, your legs will become very sore and tired by the end of the day.)
I made sure that I tucked my feet in securely as soon as I got in the boat. In fact, I had my feet so secure that I think I cut off the blood flow for a little while. I didn't care if I could feel my legs or not. I just wanted to make sure I didn't fall off into the freezing water. Near the end of our 8-mile journey, our guide warned us that we were coming up to "the falls." I did NOT like the sound of that! He cautioned us to make sure we had our feet secured. At first, I didn't think it was possible to wedge my feet up any farther in that compartment, but I found a way. With my feet secured, I made it through the falls without ending up in the river.
The whole situation made me think about how important it is to have our feet firmly planted in our faith. When the rapids of life come upon us, it is very easy to "fall out of the boat" or give up on our faith. It's not difficult to find ourselves floating down the river of life without a paddle or even a boat. Circumstances can cause us to question where God is and why we feel the need to serve Him when He doesn't even seem to care about what's happening to us. Situations can cause us to turn our backs on God or fellow Christians. Life is not easy. We must have our feet firmly planted. But how?
1. Stay in God's Word.
2. Talk with God.
3. Share your burdens with other believers.
4. Keep a positive outlook.
5. Be thankful.
There are many other things you can do to strengthen your hold on your faith, but these are a few good ones that will help you through those tough times. Trials come, and there's no way to get around them. Life will toss us around just like a raging river. But we can stay in the boat if we will strive to have our feet firmly planted.
Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the water, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river. - Jeremiah 7:17-18a