God is our refuge and our strength; always ready to help in times of trouble.
Psalm 46:1 (NLT)
I grew up spending my summers on a lake in Canada. I remember looking off our front deck at sunset, when the water was smooth as glass, reflecting the fire of the orange sky. It looked like the most peaceful place on earth. But I knew from experience that all was not as it seemed. For off to the left, hidden beneath that unruffled, calm surface, lay a treacherous rock reef.
I remember that evening, because my life has been full of unexpected reefs.
Reefs come in all shapes and sizes. Job loss. Illness. Bitterness. Despair. Sometimes these reefs are hidden, but other times they are marked with big, flashing signs that read ‘Turn Back’ or ‘Don’t Sail Here’. Sad to say, I’ve seen these flashing signs and sailed onto the reefs anyway.
However, the most damaging reefs for me have been the ones that someone else has led me onto. Sometimes it’s intentional, and sometimes it’s just ignorance on their part, but whatever the cause, the person I followed sails away while I am stuck on a reef in a leaky boat, bailing furiously.
When you’re stuck on a reef, you’ve got three options. You can figure you’re supposed to be on the reef and just accept it. This strategy works until the mosquitoes come out. Then you will do pretty much anything to get off the reef. I speak from experience here.
You can also just keep bailing, but you’ll exhaust yourself. And, even if you do manage to push off from the reef, you’re still in a damaged boat with no strength left to paddle away. Nine times out of ten you’ll drift back onto the reef.
But there is a third choice: Look up. Take your eyes off of the leaky hull and look around you. If you do, you will see dozens and dozens of tiny boats, all rowing and chugging in your direction. Some you will recognize. Some you won’t. But all of them will be heading toward you as fast as they can, throwing out lifelines to help you off the reef.
God never meant us to face our troubles alone.
In the midst of our ‘reefs’ it’s difficult to take our eyes off of our problems and reach out to others for help. Sometimes even drowning seems preferable to trusting others. But I encourage you to give it a try. The Lord sends us help, sometimes via one-man dinghys, and sometimes through the massive battleships powered by angels. Help is available, through the Glennon House and many others. You are not alone. You only have to look up.
Finally, when you’re stuck on a reef, it’s awfully nice to have a friend who can walk on water. I’m just sayin’.