June 28, 2014

Stand Your Ground And Face The Waves

Today was my first solo paddle. It was kind of a last minute decision to go out because it had been raining all morning and looked like it would continue throughout the day. But once the sun came shining through in late afternoon, I couldn't stay inside much longer. I thought about going for a bike ride, but opted instead for a paddle (I'm so hooked!). So I hopped online to reserve a board and then headed over to the marina.

This time I went out later in the day when there are more boats out on the water, making the water a little more choppy. I actually like when the boats cause a lot of waves because it's kind of cool to feel the board rocking under my feet and to be challenged to stay standing on the board in the waves. I remembered what I was taught: turn your board toward the waves when they come and face them.

God doesn't promise us a trouble-free life with smooth sailing. Instead, there will be times of trials (John 16:33), but Jesus's presence gives us the peace to face those trials. We can put on the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) in order to stand against evil:
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist (NIV), and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. (NLT)
The passage above came to mind when I was thinking about the gear required for SUP. Maybe this is a bit of a stretch, but I see parallels here:
  • Belt pack life jacket :: belt of truth
  • Board :: body armor of God's righteousness
  • Ankle leash :: shoes of peace
  • Sunscreen :: shield of faith
  • Hat/visor :: helmet of salvation
  • Paddle :: sword of the Spirit/Word of God
Even though I was out on the river by myself this time in rougher waters and stronger currents, I knew I was not alone nor unequipped. God is always with me, and always provides me everything I need.

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