Safe and Surrounded

Yesterday I spent six hours in a car because I had to attend court as part of my job.  I am the dean of students at an online school, and I deal primarily with students who have attendance or truancy issues.  When I saw the sign for my exit off of I-35 about two hours north of Minneapolis, I was excited to see that another sign – one for Jay Cooke State Park – followed.

I.  Love.  Jay Cooke State Park.

I have to be honest that I was not thrilled about being on the road yesterday.  My kids are on spring break, and work is a little nutty.  I could have skipped the road trip and would have been just fine.  However, I am so glad that I ended up being on the road with a ten minute stop at my favorite state park.

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This view from the swinging bridge took my breath away.

In my previous visit, I had thought of some profound correlations between the river and myself.  Yesterday, though, a profound message came in a different way.

Life is crazy, isn’t it?  At any given time, we all have something stressful going on in our lives or in the lives of those we love.  Someone needs surgery, someone dies, someone loses a job, someone gets engaged, someone has a baby, and someone moves away.  Like the river, we are constantly going.

We do not stand still – at least, not for long.

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And when we do, we are just waiting until the next move.

And sometimes I ask myself, where is God in this?  If I am the river and if the things that “get in our way” are rocks, where is this God in this analogy?

I actually asked God this question as I stood on the bridge.  Where are you?

And then it came to me…not an audible voice…but an obvious light bulb moment.

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Have you ever noticed the rocks surrounding the river as it rages?

Psalm 139:5 – You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.

We go along in life – raging and resting – like the river. Things get in our way – by our choice or by life’s circumstance – like the rocks coming up from the bed of the river.

And all the while, we are surrounded – like the ledges surrounding a river – by a God who loves us, cares for us, and guides us.  No matter how our life rages, we are safe because we are surrounded.

And for that, I am thankful.

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