Once, while fishing a small river in the middle of nowhere, three students came down the river in coracles. I need to explain here that a coracle is a small round boat made of wickerwork and propelled with a paddle (- similar but not the same as the one in the photo which is bucket-shaped). Actually, I heard the students long before I saw them as they squealed with terror and delight as, out of control, the current sent them spinning on their haphazard journey downstream towards me.
Relating this to the Christian experience, life can often seem to be out of control for us in a similar way as prayers go unanswered, troublesome thoughts and temptations give us no peace while trials and tragedy send us reeling and spinning into the next dilemma. In the dizziness and bumps of this unanticipated journey we’re on, it is not uncommon for us to question if God is actually in control? Does He really care or have any concern for us at all?
In Isaiah 41 we are told that God is present and will strengthen and uphold us. A truth that is both encouraging and comforting. If you are presently struggling and spinning out of control, think of it like this. God is the paddle that provides those moments of stability in our unsteady lives. A soft touch that does not rescue us outright but rather controls our coracle as it spins downstream over choppy water and past obstacles. Moreover, God’s promise is always that ‘I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’