Life’s Challenges Can Be Like Raging Waters

Life’s challenges can be like raging waters—Will you be engulfed by them or ride through them?

If the LORD had not been on our side…the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away. (Ps 124:1, 4-5)

As we prepare for the new year ahead with so many unknowns, the Lord reminded me of one of my trips to my favorite hiking spot in Maryland—Swallow Falls State Park. It has the highest waterfalls in the state. Only 52 feet but the hiking trail is entirely along a series of beautiful cascades and absolutely gorgeous.

The last time I went, the water was raging due to extremely rainy weather. I got to see 3 kayakers go through one of the cascades; then I saw 3 others literally under the highest one.

Those waterfalls reminded me that life’s trials are often like that. Sometimes they are just a trickle; other times they are full and raging. Hardships in this life are inevitable. But we have a choice in how we deal with them. We can allow ourselves to be engulfed, consumed, and swept under, or we can go through them “enjoying” the ride.

God’s grace will enable us to make the right choice.

It was really cool watching those 3 kayakers make it through those the falls unscathed. There was definitely danger; a real possibility that they could get hurt. We onlookers were concerned. But they made it and all of us were thrilled with their accomplishment. I was able to capture it on video. (You can watch it here.)

But observing the other 3 that were under the torrential 52-foot falls was nerve-racking. And in my opinion—idiotic.  See the picture below.

Watching others go through difficulties, especially horrific ones, makes us wonder if they’re going to make it. We feel the same way when we are the ones in the midst of raging waters.

Some people are pulled under, flooded with the pain of it all; immobilized.

Others come out the other end, praising God for how He got them through it. That’s exciting and encouraging to watch! They probably weren’t thrilled during the trial. But afterwards, in looking back, they saw what God had done; amazed that they weren’t consumed. They knew they couldn’t have made it through without God. I’m sure many of you know exactly what I mean.

On the night after my husband’s passing, as I was preparing for bed, I distinctly remember telling God that if He wasn’t real, that if He didn’t help me, I wasn’t going to make it!

But I did not drown in the grief of losing my soulmate. Rather God’s miraculous power has enabled me to kayak through life—even through very tumultuous waters. And He has given me joy through it. Life can be a thrilling adventure with Christ! If we go with the flow—His flow.

I have many other examples of God’s deliverance, as I’m sure you do. We need to remember these incredible rescues by our very faithful God because…

there are more raging rapids up ahead and others are watching.

Our attitude and behavior in difficult waters speak volumes to those around us, and determines whether we will experience the abundant life.

Until next time, my friends, life’s challenges can be like raging waters—Will you be engulfed by them or ride through them? You choose. How you respond will make a huge difference in your life and in the life of others.

Oh no! Wait! I think I hear a roaring sound up ahead. What will you do through your next (or current) set of rapids?

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you…. (Is 43:2)


All Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible: New International Version®. NIV. ® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.