An Unknown River yet to Explore

“We are now ready to start on our way down the Great Unknown…We have an unknown distance yet to run; and unknown-river yet to explore. What falls there are, we know not; what rocks beset the channel, we know not; what walls rise over the river, we know not…with some eagerness, and some anziety, and some misgiving, we enter the conyon below.”
-From the journal of John Wesley Powell, August 13 1869, written at the junction of the Colorado River and the Little Colorado River, Arizona Territory.
Thanks to Duffy Robbins and his book,
This Way to Youth Ministry for this quote. Having just gone rafting a week ago, I can somewhat imagine the excitement and anxiety that John Wesley Powell and his men must have thought as they explored the Colorado River. How exciting it must be to go where no one has gone before…to see obstacles in front of your path and overcoming them.

The Quest of Life is much the same. We don’t know what falls there are ahead…or rocks blocking our path, or walls rising beyond the water. It can cause anxiety in our life. And yet, at the same time, can bring so much excitement. I asked the question of what attracts our college students to the message of Jesus…and the response was encouraging! Many were attracted to the full life that Jesus promises in John 10:10. There were also attracted that Jesus was there during the hard times. I think those two responses go hand in hand. God desires us to have a full, exciting, satisfying life…yet Satan, the destroyer, wants to do anything to steal our joy. He uses these falls, rocks, and walls to throw us from our raft and cause chaos.

Isn’t that where the adventure is? Not in the chaos, but when we trust God through the ‘rapids’ of life. The adventure is when God pulls us back in the raft, when His love for us is stronger than the currents of life, even sin! It’s exhilerating to come through the hard spots of life and see God’s hand guided us through! How great is our God! The adventure in the quest that is life is trusting God when we don’t know what lies ahead.

Lord, I praise you for your faithfulness. Thank you for your love that is stronger than the currents of the world that swirl around me. May your hand continually guide my path, making my paths straight. Amen.

About Steve LaMotte

Husband of Andrea and father of four amazing children. Pastor at Avenue United Methodist Church in Milford, Delaware.
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