For many years I have loved kayaking. Some of my favorite times are when I'm paddling against a strong wind. It just makes me feel so alive and free when the wind is in my hair, the spray is in my face, and a challenge lies ahead!
As amazing as these times are, it can also be difficult when my arms are tired, my throat is dry, and the shore doesn't seem to get any closer. Stroke after stroke I press on, trying to make every dip of the paddle count. To slacken my pace even a little is to go backwards and lose the "ground" I've gained, and to pick up the speed is to lose the energy I have left that is needed for endurance.
I can't help but compare these times to the challenges we face in life. In life, just as in the kayak, I've found that sometimes God will give me a tow in to shore, or a chance to slip among the lily pads long enough to get a drink and rest momentarily. But other times He simply gives me the strength to keep paddling. Though I know that He could calm the wind and waves with just a word, my greatest comfort and hope has been that He is in the boat with me.