I went to the White River recently. I love the river. The drive to the White River is full of so many memories. The smells of the water in the afternoon make me feel so peaceful. The fog that lays heavy on the water in the early morning and looks like a mysterious mist as it begins to rise with the sun, always takes my breath away. The sound of the birds and the boats, well I just love it. Every time I go, I find myself sitting and staring. I stare at the water. I stare at the dam that releases the water. I stare at the wake caused by boats. I just can’t get enough, it’s like my eyes crave it.
I love riding in a boat. When I was a baby, my parents would go fishing and I’d be nestled safely in the bottom of the boat for naps. When I was little, I would yell, “Faster daddy!! Faster!!” I just couldn’t get enough…I still can’t. There’s a certain kind of freedom I feel when the wind is louder than my thoughts and the beauty is flying by, and we are on the water. Freedom.
I ALWAYS hear from God when I’m on the water. There is never a time that His presence is far from me, but when I’m on the water…it seems ever closer. He speaks to me through words of love, that for some reason I hear better, when I’m on the water.
In the couple of days before our trip, I kept seeing God holding a little bird in His hand. This bird had some problems with its wings. They had been hurt. Damaged by life. The bird would go fly a bit, then have to return to the ground because its wings weren’t completely healed yet. That bird was me.
God spoke to me that it was ok that I was having to make so many attempts to fly well because He was still bringing healing to me. Each time, I could see Him ever so carefully receiving me back into His hands, as this little bird, and He would simply breathe on the wounded spot…then I could fly better. I was so grateful when I noticed the wounds were nearly gone…in fact, only a little wing clip was left. My time is coming, I see that now. The great release. I feel it in my bones.
The whole drive to the White River and while we were out fishing, I pondered the bird and asked God to speak to me more about it. Then we started catching fish…a lot of them. Beautiful Rainbow Trout…now, that’s why I love to fish the White River. It’s like each fish carries the promise of heaven on its beautiful rainbow color. What a delight. I had a really good fishing day. Only God can do that…fishing isn’t much about skill for me, rather it’s about…well, luck…but really usually a lesson God is teaching me. This time was about success.
I caught a slew of Rainbow Trout. Squealing with delight each time. “Dad, are you proud of me?” I would say to my dad in the front of the boat.
Then I hit a lull. I asked God, “Am I done for the day? What’s going on?” To which He immediately replied, almost before I asked…”Great reward is coming”
The reply almost startled me. I said, “Yes and amen.” Even though I didn’t really know what He meant.
Then I caught the biggest trout…only to be followed by two big brown trout…which are another special treat on these fishing trips. One of those brown measured the biggest catch of the trip. Then I received a phone call from my husband. I decided to answer because he loves the river too and I wanted to tell him about my catch!
He was so proud of me, I could hear the smile in his voice…then he said, “We both caught a whale today!” My breath escaped me…”What do you mean? What did you do?” He quickly replied that he’d made his biggest sale ever just moments before. Tears. Tears of joy, relief, and pride for him flowed down my face.
I cried silently for the next 10 or 15 minutes. Sitting in our great reward of the day…knowing it was a pre-cursor for more to come…and God desired to sit with me on the river…and heal little daddy wounds while I delighted in the great catch.
When God desires to heal tender places within us, He often takes us to tender places with many memories of childhood. Then we must choose, will we cooperate, or will we hold onto the resentment? You see, those moments when I said to my dad, “Dad, are you proud of me?” to my earthly father in the boat…that was a big moment. I never talk to him that way, but it’s what I needed. I talk to God that way. I talk to my husband that way. It’s how a daughter should talk to her dad. When I was saying that to my earthly dad, I didn’t even look to his reply, I was saying it, not for his reaction…no, it was for my freedom. It was because I was comfortable and confident with myself, and I could enjoy what I was doing. It was healing.
As we rode back to the dock, I knew I had been changed. When we traveled home and I had a few interactions with my earthly dad, I realized something within me had changed and things could roll off my back in a new way.
We can’t expect people to change…or demand it…in order for us to be healed. We are each responsible for ourselves, and ourselves alone. If someone keeps bumping against your feelings, it’s up to you to find healing, not change for them. Far too often we place the burden of change at all the feet around us and stay stubbornly still. Acting as if we can’t change if they don’t.
That is a lie.
I pray today, your heart wakes up to the light of change within yourself. I pray for the great awakening we are so desperately waiting to see on earth, to begin in your own heart. Let heaven come.
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:1-4