Our small outboard pushed hard against the strong current but we were making slow progress. A large piling stuck out int the middle of the river ahead of us: a metal I-beam. They were building a large dam on the river here and the river had pushed back progress and destroyed some structures but left the I-beam in the middle of the river. For some reason we wanted to tie a line on it. It had already been bent over by the force of the water and we motored right under the leaning piling. My father stood up and bear hugged the piling to hold us steady so he could tie on.
A sudden swirl of the vicious current, a stall in our small motor, and we were pushed backward, leaving my father dangling from the piling in the middle of the river. Anxious moments were spent trying to get the boat back up the river under the piling, and under my struggling father. Finally, his feed touched the boat and he released his death-grip on the piling. We moved on to quieter waters.
Since then, as I watched my father struggle with his losing battle with cancer, I again experienced that same desperate feeling that I was leaving him out there hanging over the raging river. Sure, I realize there was was nothing more I could have done, but still, there is that same helpless, desperate feeling of not being able to save. Now dad is gone. His boat is no longer challenging the raging current of life. He has moved on to quieter waters.
And over the years I have come to realize that now it is really me that has been left hanging out there in the middle of the raging current of life. I have my own piling I am gripping tightly, waiting for that someday when Jesus will moves His lifeboat under me, get me off this piling safely, and take me out of this raging river to peaceful waters to be with Him.