Early on in our hiking days Ed and I seldom encountered stream crossings—until we started hiking the Smokies. On one such trail, we encountered many of these streams. And they were much bigger than I was used to! My fear of slipping and seriously getting hurt made me want to turn around. I had never learned how to navigate my way across these kinds of streams. But Ed reassured this scaredy cat and taught me how to safely cross. He went first. Told me exactly where to place my feet and showed me how to use a stick for balance and stability. He discipled me in “Stream Crossing 101.” As we continued on our trek up, we ran into more and more of these creeks. Then we came to an even bigger one. I was scared, but not terrified. I had gained enough confidence to venture forth under Ed’s wise direction. Halfway through I slipped and fell in the water. I was stunned—literally. I just sat there, dazed in the cold water. Ed’s shouting, “Get up, get up!” Finally roused from my bewildered state, I finished crossing over to dry ground. My jeans were soaked! We decided to continue on. We really should have turned around. Jeans don’t dry out that quickly in fall weather and it was getting cloudier. However, this trail was one of our friend’s favorite hikes and we didn’t want to miss out. We had already traveled at least two thirds of the way. Then it began to rain. Still we trudged on (actually I sloshed). By the time we got near the top it was sleeting. The trail had narrowed making our legs brush against ice-laden myrtle bushes. Now both our pants were wet and chilled. On top of that there was no view. We were encompassed by a cloud. At long last, we turned around. The only thing that kept me going were visions of a hot Jacuzzi and a warm fireplace. I learned many things from this experience.
- We can learn how to overcome obstacles with a bit of training.
- Fear doesn’t have to make us turn around and rob us of enjoyment and accomplishment.
- Experience in crossing the streams of life will help us to face future obstacles.
- Beware of becoming overconfident.
- When—not if—we fall, we must get back up.
- Keeping the end in sight helps us to persevere.
- We need wisdom as well as perseverance.
~~~~~After our experience, Ed and I always had a good laugh whenever we encountered even the slightest water obstacle. Even now, I smile in fond memory while crossing a stream for the many times Ed—and the Lord—helped me through life’s stream crossings.