Pastor’s Pen: Wading into the unknown

When you are with certain people, you do things you wouldn’t normally do.

A few weeks ago I was with my friend in the U.P. for a short fishing trip. We went up Friday night, did a little fishing, slept in a tent and then fished all day Saturday. It was a good trip. 

Though it sounded like the duck hunters were having some luck, Saturday’s fishing wasn’t going well in the lake where we camped so we headed to a smaller lake up the road. This lake had a “No Motors” rule. We didn’t have a boat without a motor so my friend made a ludicrous suggestion; “Let’s put on shorts and wade out there and fish around.”

I was thinking “Yeah, right.” But we changed and started to head out. I was certain, with the frigid water, that this wasn’t going to last very long. But my friend continued to wade out farther into the water making his way around the lake. I followed after him. My legs were becoming numb and I was certain that pneumonia was going to befall us both.

Now, he had come prepared with sandals to walk a little more safely. I had bare feet and was more cautious of where I stepped. There were some rocks and logs and weeds that felt sharper than they looked. But as my friend moved so did I. Not long into our adventure my friend caught a pike. It was just a hammerhead, as they would all be, but it was a lot of fun.  I caught one as well.

Then my friend had one follow his lure all the way up to his leg before turning away. This was when I become a bit more nervous. I began to think about the teeth in a pike’s mouth and my toes openly exposed under the water. I could picture one of those pike swimming up and thinking how delicious something like that may taste. Or it being certain that I was invading his territory and attacking! How terrible!

Yet despite my fear, I continued on. Why? Because my friend was in front. I let him encounter the dangers first and find the logs below. I then would follow a little more secure in my journey.

That adventure in the lake is like our adventure with God. The conditions on our journey with God may not always be ideal. It’s a little intimidating not knowing where He may lead. It’s a little scary to think of the dangers that lurk below. Yet we can go forward because God is leading the way.

In Psalm 23, David says it this way: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.”

Why can I confidently follow God even when all seems scary and dark and dangerous? Because He is with me. And if you know Christ, He is with you also. Boldly follow God into the unknown, knowing that He is your Shepherd who cares for you and will watch over you.