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  • Writer's pictureHeather Roberts

Up the Creek with a Paddle

Up the Creek with a Paddle

I was speaking to the Lord about the path He has me on right now. The searching of my heart, and the putting down of past problems and issues in order for Him to remove these things from my life. After He exposes them, I will then have the choice to surrender them. It’s a scary but exciting time.

I asked what He wanted me to learn concerning this.


He showed me a canoe with a person holding a solitary oar. The person had to strain as they moved the oar from one side of the canoe to the other in order to gain forward motion in a straight line.

In contrast, He showed me a canoe with strange oars. On either side of the canoe, there were oars that had eight paddles extending from one shaft. They appeared to be effortlessly attached to the person somehow and glided in and out of the water, smoothly and perfectly straight. Just as if the person were simply moving their arms. These 8 paddles had web-like extensions between them. Making their progress efficient and silent.

It was obvious which arrangement I would want to choose. The one-oar system emitted a feeling of being overwhelmed, confused, and frustrated. In the eight-paddle system, the person held their face high and basked in the sun. This scene emitted a feeling of triumph and joy.

            “What are you showing me?”

            He answered, “The difference that occurs between just prayer and when obedience, prayer, and fasting are added into the scenario. Work will still need to be done. But obedience always yields a straighter path. Fasting creates deeper humility and with this humble heart, you can hear from the Lord more precisely.”


He then prompted me to think about how many paddles were involved—8. I then searched for the biblical meaning of eight. When I looked it up under the website bible study tools. I found that the number eight symbolizes circumcision of the heart, through Christ and the receiving of the Holy Spirit.

Circumcision means the cutting away or taking away of what is impeding our heart from full commitment to God. And this is precisely what God was telling me He intended to do in my life. He is stripping off all the unnecessary clutter to help me see the past hurts that need healing.

Healing can only happen when we acknowledge pain and submit it to God. There have been many times in my life when I have buried heartache so deep that my conscious mind did not even know that it existed. That doesn’t stop the heartache from hurting, it just delays healing.

So needless to say, I’m in kind of a scary time while I wait for what the Lord has to reveal. The stripping away portion so far has not been painful. God has put a drive within me to conduct a forty-day fast from watching anything on TV unless it is Christ-centered.

(Don’t feel too sorry for me, there is always the series, Chosen)

I’m only on day number three, but this act has already freed up extra time and eased stress. I have seen the whole Chosen series to date, but as I watch it again, there are many things that I have missed. In looking at the artistic account and comparing it to the Bible, it has prompted wonderful conversations with my family. 

I’m convinced this time of stripping away will be wonderful for my spiritual growth, but like all the other times before this one, I know I’ll have to look at some ugly things.

But I know I’m up the creek, but with a paddle. God has made a way. 

If led, please pray for me during this time.

The below scripture brings me great comfort.

“I am convinced and confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will [continue to] perfect and complete it until the day of Christ Jesus [the time of His return]. It is right for me to feel this way about you, because [you have me in your heart as] I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the good news [regarding salvation], all of you share in [His matchless] grace with me. For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus [whose great love fills me].

And this I pray, that your love may abound more and more [displaying itself in greater depth] in real knowledge and in practical insight, so that you may learn to recognize and treasure what is excellent [identifying the best, and distinguishing moral differences], and that you may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ [actually living lives that lead others away from sin]; filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God [so that His glory may be both revealed and recognized].” (Phil. 1:6-11, AMP)

Prayer for you and me: Thank You, God, that You are faithful to take our surrendered lives and create fully healed hearts and bring us to maturation. You will never leave us or forsake us. Of this, we are guaranteed. Grant us the strength to let go of the things we need to so we can embrace the new and good things you have for us. Thank You, Jesus. Amen. 


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