I have developed a love for kayaking down the river. My husband and I just started the hobby a couple of months ago as something we could enjoy together. We’ve learned much in the short time about paddling, but what has affected me most is how much perspective matters. The river we most often paddle is right beside the road the entire way almost. I’ve lived there all of my 25 years. I know the place like the back of my hand, know a lot of the people who live there or used to, know the houses, different roads and driveways, stores and churches. But when I get down in the river floating along, I can’t always tell where we are. Everything looks so different and at times you wouldn’t even know there was a road there until a vehicle comes driving past. It’s so peaceful and beautiful. We’ve commented about how we’ve never noticed some of the gorgeous cornfields and barns along the way. Now imagine for a minute with me how much different God’s perspective is than ours. He is all-seeing and all-knowing. Nothing is hidden from Him. He can see the beginning to the end, mountains and valleys, trials and victories, life and death, hidden and concealed, secret and open, past and future. How amazing it must be from His perspective. We live our lives making decisions against His will at times and how ignorant this is on our part! We should completely rely on Him to guide us since He can see what we don’t. Remember that He has the better perspective!
One of the scariest things about paddling is not being able to see where the rocks are that you may hit. Some stick up out of the water and you can see them. Other rock locations are given away by the pattern the water makes going around or over them. But many times, you’re floating along enjoying the scenery and then Bam! You’re stuck dead still on a rock that you didn’t even see at all! The sunlight and the direction you’re headed make the water dark or reflective and you can’t see down into it at all. You have to paddle every which of way, rock back and forth, or side to side, or worst-case scenario (and usually the one we end up having to do) get out of your boat in the middle of the river and dislodge your boat. Now, I have to admit we are nowhere near “experienced” paddlers and experience I’m sure will help with this problem, but this is an excellent example of our spiritual lives. There are some trials that we can see a mile away and know we must make a decision so that we can avoid them. We have time to pray and seek God’s will about the best way to “dodge that rock”. Then there are other situations and “rocks” that we can’t see at all. Everything in life may be going just fine and we don’t have a problem at all, or so it seems. We may even begin to feel like we couldn’t be hindered from serving the Lord by anything, like we are just on cloud nine with no care in the world. Then tragedy strikes, financial troubles arise, unexpected bills come, sickness happens, rumors spread or other issues arise. We are blind sided by them and could even forget that God knew what was going to happen. From His perspective He can see every single “rock in the river” and He knows which ones will be a problem for us. He may even put one right in our path just for our own benefit. Now I know when I’m stuck on that big rock, I’m not very happy about it. I am the first to get aggravated about having to constantly maneuver the rocks and everyone laughs at me about it. Spiritually this is the same because when we are facing a trial, we don’t see how it could possibly benefit us and we definitely would have avoided it if we’d had a choice. This may be why God chooses to keep some “rocks” hidden from our view. I hope that during the next trial I face, I remember that God has the better perspective, he saw it coming and has control over it. He will use it for His glory if we will let Him. We should remember that we need humble ourselves and keep from getting prideful. If we fail to keep ourselves humble, God may have to use a rock to get our attention and remind us that He is the one that is in control. He does ALL things, provides us with ALL things that we have and we can truly do NOTHING without Him.