A trip down the rapids of the American River turned ugly one day. What was typically a class 3 rapid (average skill) suddenly turned deadly. Debris. High flow. The rapids were out of control. The dam up river had broke and Steve and his crew were rushing down the river at incredible speeds. Steve did everything he could to steer his crew in the right directions. As they approached a cesspool of white water and rocks, he informed his team where they needed to paddle, but it didn’t matter. In a fraction of a second, his daughter was ejected from the raft and sent barreling down river. Gasping for air every time she broke the surface, she bounced aimlessly off the rocks, her body twisting at every hit. Steve pointed her in the direction she should go, but she was now unconscious; no longer gasping for air. Her body now lay motionless on the surface. The rapids were passed. Steve dove in and dragged her ashore. After minutes of breathing life into her, she opened her eyes, and that was all. She couldn’t move. That day, in a fraction of a second, Steve’s daughter was swept away by an unfathomable force, and things were never the same. Today, broken and beaten, she shares her story.
Unfortunately this story is a common one. A safe ride turns dangerous in a split second. A man almost loses his daughter. A daughter almost loses her family. Both are crippled and need healing.
This story plays out every day in the homes of broken and hurting families. The decisions of one or a few affect the rest with devastating consequences. A ride to the liquor store and dad buys a magazine. Child is researching a paper online innocently and is redirected to a stumbling block. Mom is living a secret life. Everyone is crippled. They all need healing.
When it comes to the issues of pornography and sexual addictions, everyone is affected. Everyone gets hurt. It leaves people barely breathing. They need new life breathed into them. They need healing. Often times, their lives are forever affected by the grip of sexual sin.
But our God is a god of new beginnings. The Gospel of Mark chapter five illustrates this beautifully for us. Three people, all entrenched in their own brokenness, are given new life through the words and touch of Jesus. A man who has been oppressed for years has been set free. A woman crippled by her frailness is given new strength. A family wrought over the death of a child has restored hope. When Jesus comes into a life, he never leaves it the same. By his very nature of being God, he changes things.
We are all broken and crippled in one way or another. We’re all in this raft together and there will be waves that will sweep us away. But there is a God who loves you so much that he will rescue you. He will bring new life in you. May you be forever changed by his presence today. And may you never, ever, be the same again.