My First Wife and I went to Atlanta this week to help celebrate our grandson’s 12th birthday. He’s a handsome boy, by the way. The highlight of the trip was our float down the Chattahoochee River on inner tubes. This was a first for us. Looked like fun.
We got our tubes, stood on the bank a minute, watched others float away and quickly joined the fray. Just as quickly, My First Wife flipped and into the shallow river she went. Even quicker, I managed to grab her tube, hold on and then help her up.
“Hey! Wait a minute! Where’s my Croc? I lost my Croc!” My right Croc went a-floating on ahead of me. I got unhappy right then; right there. It disappeared.
Here came our son floating by. He lithely descended from his tube to help his mom. Whew. He hooked their tubes together and I heard him say, “It’s better to ride together this way, anyway. More fun.” And away they went leaving me there with one shoe off and one shoe on. I was not happy. I’m an expert grumbler and right then, right there I offered a world-class grumble.
You don’t want to walk barefoot in that part of the Chattahoochee River. There’s no sand or silt on the bottom. Only rocks. Nice rough rocks. The smallest is about the size of a football. Shaped like a football, too. All of them slippery with moss. A lot of them sharp like pointed shovels, so you don’t want to walk barefoot in that part of the Chattahoochee River.
But I had no choice. Either walk back to the shore and hobble to the bus or get in the tube. I tried to get in the tube. “God,” I said. “Is there any way you’ll give me back my Croc? This water is too shallow. I can’t walk like this. I really need my shoe. Can you help me get it back? Also, they cost $35 and I use them is so many other ways...”
I began a slow, careful, painful, walk toward shore; about fifteen feet over all those rocks. “Dad! Dad!” I heard. “Hunny!” I heard, too, also, as well.
I looked up to see my son and my wife merrily floating down the river, but violently pointing at a big flat rock jutting out of the water.
“Dad. Your Croc!”
“Hunny, there's your shoe!” And off they floated, further and further away. Last thing I heard was "Look on the rock! The rock!"
Well, how ‘bout that! There on that one lonely rock, in the middle of the Chattahoochee River, basking in the sunshine, sat my Croc. “Well, praise the Lord!” is all I could say. Water was two feet away from it and a foot below it. Incredible! “Praise Jesus.” And guess what? It was only 25 yards from where I stood with one shoe on and one shoe off. And did you notice what my son said? "...the rock!"
It only took me about ten minutes to reach it. You don’t want to walk barefoot in that part of the Chattahoochee River. The Croc waited patiently there for me. When I got there, it was dry. While I hobbled along toward my shoe, I thought about those Israelites fleeing Egypt many years ago. It was a big Rock that gave them water while they grumbled. So who am I to complain when the Lord has already answered my prayer? I thought about Jonah, too, who was swallowed by a big fish. You know, if God can have him thrown up onto dry land, I suppose he can throw a Croc up onto a Rock.
He knows where we are. He knows what we need. And He answers our prayers anyway.