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Friday, July 27, 2012

Rescued! A Kayaking Adventure

My husband and I recently vacationed in the heart of Vermont's Green Mountains. On the second leg of our journey, we stayed near a beautiful lake and I anticipated exploring the shimmering jewel by boat. For weeks, he had promised me that we would go out kayaking, and I just couldn't wait. But the day we got there was just too hot and sunny for my tired lover of cool weather mate, so we planned to go the next day. That night it stormed with crazy heat lighting that glowed in the dark sky, but the day dawned sunny, though breezy. We headed for the lake, but when we arrived the rental boat counter wasn't opened, so we took a walk around. Breezy quickly turned to windy and there were white caps, but I didn't care. This was our last day of vacation and I was determined to go out on the water.

I hunted down the boat crew and they opened up.I asked if he though the wind would die down, but in typical Vermont fashion he responded, "Don't know." After a few adjustments to our life jackets, my husband and I launched out into the lake.It was great. The wind was with us, and I found paddling a breeze. For some reason my husband's kayak wasn't as fast, and i had to stop several times for him to catch up. I loved the challenge of balancing myself with the craft heading into the waves so I wouldn't capsize. After about an hour, my husband, got too much water in his kyack, so he wanted to head to shore and get the water out. Being novices we don't know how to do that while in the water. As we headed back the wind was against us, and I had difficulty making progress so we headed closer to the shore. My husband thought that would be easier, but I paddled and paddled for fifteen minutes and made very little progress.I was getting annoyed and my arms began to ache. Later I discovered that I was trapped in a current from a river emptying into the lake.

Finally, we both decided it would be better for me to head out into the lake. I was relived when I found myself moving once again over the waves, and I finally passed that cute little gazebo on shore. In a burst of energy my husband raced ahead, and I trailed behind. I tried keeping up, but I just didn't posses the strength in my arms.I decided to rest for a moment.

All at once, the wind kicked up and blew me back like a paper boat. I was now back to the area parallel with the current and far back form the point of land where the "not so cute anymore" gazebo stood. I tried paddling to recover the lost ground, but I found only whitecaps and wind greeted me. My arms hurt and my left elbow ached. I threw the paddle down and prayed. "Please Lord, stop this wind," I yelled "or give me strength!" I expected a miracle, but the wind just kept on kicking up, so I took up my paddle and resumed my battle. As hard as I paddled, the wind continued to resist my effort to forge ahead.I was now even further away from the mocking gazebo."Landlubber!" It laughed.

I panicked and cried out exhausted, "Lord, please help!" I calmed down and figured out a plan. I'd just drift back and paddle to shore at an easier place. However, the wind was getting increasingly stronger and I doubted the feasibility of my plan. Suddenly I saw a couple of kayakers along the shore. I wondered why they were going out on a day like this. They started heading my way, and I wondered if they saw me. Finally I made eye contact with two women, and they asked if I needed some help. "Sure!" I said,relieved. They threw me a rope and we tied ourselves together on the tether at each end, with my boat in the middle. Though I warned them about the current, we paddled to shore. We didn't talk much, but all worked as hard as we could to reach land. Then we got stuck in the current. The boat to my right swirled in back of me and turned around backwards.But the woman in front knew what she was doing and zig zagged through the current and got us out.

Once we were out of that, paddling to shore became easier, and I had energy to talk. I found out that Joy and Phyllis lived sheer across the country in San Diego and came to Vermont in the summer to take care of an elderly mother. Wow, I thought. God really knows what He's doing. He sent tow women from California who knew what they were doing to rescue me. I told them my thoughts and Joy agreed.How apropos--of course, Joy had it under control because joy comes from the Lord. How true it was that day!

I learned a lot that day. First, God heard my prayer even though He answered me in a completely different way than I expected. I thought he would make the wind die down or reverse direction, but instead He sent Joy! Second, God can use anyone He wants to. He used Moses to come against the mighty Egyptian Pharaoh, who by the way was very stubborn about letting the Israelites go. Third, he hears our prayers even when we get ourselves in predicaments because of our stubbornness or foolishness. I had so wanted to go kayaking, and boy did I get my way--a kyacking adventure and then some!

I know that God engineered that rescue because He is my rescuer.He saved me from my foolishness and stubbornness,and a whole lot more.I will continually praise Him for that and have joy in Him.