Posted by: Jo | June 2, 2017

Who Is Guiding The Boat?

For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.”

(Psalm 48: 14)

Quite a few years ago, my husband and I and our youngest daughter, who was a little girl then, were having a holiday in Oregon, USA and while we were there my husband booked us on a river rafting trip on the Rogue river,RogueRiver01 (as soon as I heard the name of the river I should have been more cautious before agreeing to us all going!)  When we arrived at the edge of the river from which all the rafts entered, we had to listen to very detailed instructions about life jackets which of course were compulsory, then instructions to turn on our backs and float if we found ourselves in the water, and then how to sit and where in the craft, and we were all to face forward once we began our journey.

As we started, the water was quite calm and as we glided along we just enjoyed the beautiful scenery. I was surprised we had so many instructions for such a tranquil experience, but a simple turn in the river and we were suddenly facing rapids and the trip took on a whole new meaning. My daughter suddenly turned to me and said,

Who is guiding the boat?

She had neglected to notice the big, strong man at the rear of the raft who, with his huge paddle, was guiding us through those turbulent waters.

Life can be much like our experience of river rafting. Life can be quiet and tranquil, but can, in a very short time become anything but, with unforeseen circumstances upsetting our lives forcing us to deal with situations that we feel totally ill equipped to handle. Amid the turmoil, it is easy to forget the strong powerful guide, who has promised to be there, is right behind us. God spoke through the prophet, Isaiah, to remind us of this RogueRiver02wonderful safeguard we always have with us.

“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun – scorched land and will strengthen your frame…” (Isaiah 58: 11)

Jesus knew that when he returned to the Father, we would certainly need someone far stronger than ourselves to navigate the perils of life here on earth and he graciously asks the Heavenly Father to give us the Holy Spirit;

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth…” (John 14: 16 – 17)

Just like our river trip, which we were not allowed to embark upon before listening to the instructions, God has provided detailed instructions for us about life and these are contained in his word. We need to constantly be reading them so we stay safely on the course set before us. It was easy for us on the raft, while the waters were smooth to RogueRiver03forget that strong man at the back safely protecting us, and the same applies in life, sometimes we want to take charge of our own lives and ignore the faithful guidance of the Holy Spirit and that often leads us into challenging waters.

The beautiful promise of the Father reminds us never to lose sight of the perfect guide on the river of life;

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31: 6)


  1. Good to see Jo M back in calm waters. Pentecost Sunday was last Sunday when we were reminded of the Holy Spirit being there always as our guide.
    Thank you once again Jo.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How relevant your blog was for me this week Jo! My heart surgery was very much like your river trip. The water got pretty rough at times and the pilot was sometimes hard to see in the fog. I am grateful that he is now guiding my husband and me through a much calmer patch. Your words express it so well. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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