Saturday, December 08, 2018

Nancy Hughes: Places you don't want to be

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you
pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.”
Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)

My mother’s favorite childhood memory was getting up early to go with her father, my grandad, as he fished in the river near the family cabin. Her job – and she loved it – was to row the boat as he threw out his line.

Mother said Grandad always reminded her that oars had to work together, in unison, or the boat wouldn’t stay in the middle of the river in deeper water. “If you want to go in a straight line,” he would tell her, “you have to use the same amount of strength in each arm to pull the oars. If your left oar is pulled back harder than your right one, you will get off course in the water. The oars always have to work together or you will find yourself in places you don’t want to be,” he would warn her.

And if she forgot to heed his advice, they found themselves either spinning in a circle or in shallow water with a bank full of branches . . . and snakes.

That sounds so much like my life. Until the “oars” that I use to get me through each day are from the Word instead of the world, I am going to spin out of control and get off course. If one oar is faith and the other one fear, I will never stay on the right path because they will work against each other.

The oar of faith will push forward as the oar of fear pulls backward. And the outcome will be as my grandad warned: “You will find yourself in places you don’t want to be.”

Where are you today? Rowing in the middle of God’s plans for your life or headed for the branches and snakes? I encourage you to exchange the oar of fear for one of trust.

Call on the Lord to help you pull through whatever is in your path. He alone can strengthen you with faith and trust to keep you from places you don’t want to be.

Father, please help me to stay in your Word every day. I need the strength to face life’s challenges and it can only come from you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

R.A.P. it up . . .


Do you ever find yourself in a situation in which you seem to be going in circles and not making any progress?

What “oars” are you using to strengthen you? Faith and trust? Or fear and panic?


Journal the words “faith/trust” and “fear/panic” in two columns.

During your prayer time, journal situations in your life that you are facing and the results of each one if you react with faith and trust or with fear and panic.

Power Verses

Isaiah 43:2 (NIV) “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.”

Mark 4:39-40 (NIV) “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

Philippians 4:13 (NIV) “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”

Nancy Hughes' latest book- Healing From the Heart: The Journey Continues- is available at Amazon. The book features women telling their stories about becoming widows and how they have dealt with the pressures.

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