Saturday, May 17, 2008

Taking a deep breath, he dove under. The water, in spite of all the churning, was still fairly clear, with visibility about three feet. He found Josh quickly and also discovered why he was in trouble. One of the straps on his life vest had gotten tangled in the canoe webbing. Try as he might, he couldn't yank it free either, so he tried to signal Josh to push himself deeper inside the canoe, where breathable air was trapped. But the poor boy was panicking, straining against the strap that was keeping him caught under the canoe rim and under the water. Mack realized that he could either keep trying to free Josh from the vest or flip the canoe. Since Josh, in his panic, was not letting anyone near him, Mack chose the latter. Whether it was God and angels or God and adrenaline, he would never know for sure, but on only his second attempt he succeeded in rolling the canoe over, freeing Josh from his tether. The jacket, finally able to do what it was designed for, now kept the boy's face above water. -The Shack

In a sad-twisted sort of way, I realize that I've been fighting my life jacket. In my desperate panic to stand on a firm foundation, to keep my roots intact, to grow in the Lord, to understand my position in Him, to have an ounce of heart left after goodbyes, to understand why it's so hard to leave again, to have some sort of tangible relationship with you, to strategize a way to make it in the now-unfamiliar world of Newberg, I've allowed myself to get stuck beneath the canoe, shackled to the life jacket that should be keeping me afloat.

I've recognized my weaknesses, but instead of letting God's grace be my strength, I've tried to operate on my own. And now I look at this fortified city that my Abba and I had been building together - and instead of strong, healthy walls to guard against the enemy, there are bricks missing, holes in strategic places, and fires, fires that I know need to be put out because they're killing my garden and destroying my resolve.

I'm not entirely sure how to free myself from the tangled mess. I'm not sure how to take back the ground that I let the enemy snatch up. I'm not sure how to let this life jacket work the way it is supposed to. But I'm trying to let go. I'm trying to relax instead of panic.

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