Christian Growth

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Downriver

Abundant life lies ahead

  • Author: By Katie Croft
  • Credits: Illustration by Marta Antelo
  • Published: October 31, 2011

I bet this is what Eve felt like, I thought as I paddled downstream in my kayak.

I was spending the day in the wild with Jesus, focusing on my next steps for spiritual and personal growth.

Being on the Wekiva River reawakened something in me. I felt strong, feminine, adventurous, pursued by the Lover of my soul. We were exploring together. I was attentive to each song from birds in the surrounding ancient oak trees.

One sound, however, had me perplexed. A deep tuba note occasionally resonated out across the water and into the pit of my stomach.

Curious, I asked a passing couple in a canoe if they knew what animal made that noise.

“Alligator,” the man said, “It’s mating season.”

Gulp.

I seriously considered turning around and following the couple back up-river to familiarity.

Then I thought again about Eve in the garden. Being an explorer is in my original design. I sensed God’s Spirit say, Trust Me; keep paddling.

I don’t always press on. Many times in life I retreat when things get risky or uncomfortable. I forget that His Spirit is with me, and that abundant life lies ahead if I would just trust Him.

That day, I kept paddling, and I made a resolution to do more things that scare me. Things like entering a room of strangers and starting a conversation, or pressing in with a friend whose problem or pain I can’t solve.

I want to keep paddling downriver, trusting Jesus more than I trust familiarity.

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