The River


by Lura Langenback

© 02/04/02

There it was sitting in front of me. The river. Not really a huge stretch of water but deep enough for what I wanted. Music was floating through the air. One of those crying, 'why did you DO this to me?' country songs was in the tape player droning on and on. My mood couldn't have been blacker. The world was falling apart and I didn't have any say in it. Helpless to do anything to change it. Feeling so useless and out of touch. Thinking back over the last few months, years really, I could see the pattern of things happening to me. A failed marriage after twenty years, a child who didn't know me, another child who hated me, friends who weren't, a job that was going nowhere fast and sapping away my strength, family totally against anything I was doing, several failed 'relationships'...the most recent only the day before. That about sumed it up. Why didn't someone just tatoo 'LOSER' on my forehead and get it over with. Only one place in the world right now was inviting me to share in it. The river. The car would make it. It was deep enough. I could open the windows to help things along. Inside me, all I could hear was a voice saying 'Go ahead. You have nothing to lose now. Won't it feel better to get out while you can? Do it. No one will blame you and even if they did, would you care? Go ahead. Afterwards will be so peaceful.'

Have you been there? That was me several years ago. Obviously, I did not take the 'voice' up on the offer. Several things stopped me, not the least of which is that I don't like pain and choking. But the One Person who put a halt to it was the Lord. Through all of that other noise the 'voice' was making came the still, small Voice that I actually recognized as the Lord. We had talked many times before. Right in the middle of it all came my Father who said to me, 'Child? You do not want to do that. It does not solve anything. It only makes things worse for you and this time it's eternal. Someday, you will be doing what I have called you to do. It will be a time of real peace and happiness. Do you wish to miss that?' Okay, I'm nosey. I wanted to see what He had for me.

Did I stop hearing the voice? No. Lest someone think that I was having problems of some psychiatric nature, it was not that. Having gone deeper into the bible, it was possible to see that the voice I was hearing was the enemy, good ol' devil himself. There were other times later that I thought about the same things again in fits of depression but the Lord was with me all the way.

Through it all, the Lord was there helping me, watching out for me even when it didn't FEEL like it. In fact, it almost never felt like He was there, but He was. He is truly Faithful. When I was driving the truck, it would have been so easy to turn the wheel to the right on a lefthand curve but Someone would not allow it. During that time, I felt the presence of some other person in the cab. Out of the corner of my eye, I would see someone in the righthand seat. When I turned to look, no one was there.

There were times when I know angels helped me. Once I saw what could only have been an angel. So many times I could have died in so many places, yet the Lord spared me. Why? Why spare me? All I have known to do is mess up my life. Who am I to serve the Most High God? He needs someone pure, unaffected, unblemished, untouched by the dirtiness of the world. Someone who would stick with things until they got done, not like me, leaving every project half completed or barely started. All these things kept banging through my head. Unworthy, not doing what I am supposed to do in the Lord, not clean enough. Those other people who serve you don't have these problems. They are all working hard for you, not allowing things to get to them, not allowing stress to bother them. They are so CLEAN, God!

Then the Lord gently said this:
Child, all I want is a willing heart. I took care of it all on Calvary 2000 years ago. Come to me. You asked Me into your heart. Now listen. Do not run from Me when you sin, run to Me. I love you so much. I will kiss away the hurts, the pain, the bruises. And when we pick you up and dust you off, we can walk this path together. You won't ever be alone, I promise.' And I never was. Jesus has been there with me through it all. I am blessed.

It's not over. I still fall, still mess up. But now, He picks me up and we walk together. Sometimes He carries me. If I decide to do something by myself, He lets me. The project never works but He allows me to fall on my face because that's what you have to do with children who are learning new things. They have got to do it themselves or they will never learn. And so He lets me. When I am finished trying to do that thing that failed, I run back to the Father and He takes me in hand again. Yes, there is so much Love, so much Compassion.

So today, when it might feel like you are alone and unloved, think about the Lord. When you get together with Him, you and He make a majority! If you don't know Jesus as your Savior, please take the time right now to ask Him into your heart. For folks who have already made that decision but are not living the life they should, please stop running from Him and run to Him. He will treat you like a prodigal child being blessed when you come back. I think I will go hum a little tune. Inside my heart is a melody of love that was placed there by my Savior and Lord. And I'm blessed.

Some other articles you'll like:
Back To The Basics
The Gift That Keeps Giving
Traditions! Traditions!
Points Of Light

My first short story:
Just Plain Bessie

Out Of A Silent Moment
Weep For The Children
Dream Light

Oldies...ah take a chance!:
Ever Wonder?
Handy Dandy Little Screwdriver
a modern parable
The Day The Cross Became Real
World Ending? Who said?

Time to check out my husband's latest offerings, Surgery 101 and a short story called Nightmare. You can also check out his webpage, A Peculiar Place.