Monday, January 20, 2014

When You Walk On Thin Ice

January’s cold, lies deep in the ground and digs its icy fingers across these plains. Frosty mornings are dark longer than I care and peeling back layers of soft bedding is painful for at least thirty seconds of eternity.

And I have no idea what possess them to come here so early and to stay so late   -but they do.

The thrill seekers, better known as ice fishermen, women, children and their pets. Trucks filled with tents, augers, fishing gear and bright colored jigs, to set out on the frozen flatland, with layers of thermal. They need every bit of it because, on the ice there is nothing to stop the wind from slicing you to shreds. The impromptu ice shanty towns spring up as quickly as they vanish. Their motivation is that fishing is good. It seems like a maximum risk for a minimum return.

It was over thirty years ago, I learned to scuba dive in preparation for a trip to plunge into the wild blue seas of the Caribbean. Certification included hours in a swimming pool to learn the equipment that enables you to breath underwater. Then there were open water dives in local lakes. On a good day the waters we dove in might have a visibility of around twenty-five feet. Honesty is was most often half of that, and sometimes just your hand in front of your face was blurred. When large carp swam into view, they look thirty-three percent bigger than real life, which is quite frankly disturbing. They talked to our small, adventure-seeking class, about pursuing certification in ice diving rescue and recoveries. I didn't need a course in risk-management to know that I never wanted to add that certification card to my must-do-before-I-die list.

Under-ice diving is an extreme environment on a good day and the reason people have to be trained in rescue and recovery, is because someone got in over their head.

One miss-step into a previously drilled hole, covered by a dusting of snow or fresh layer of ice. The constant shifting of pressure cracks, which is caused by the ice expansion and contraction with temperature changes and water currents. The weight of people and all their gear walking across this layer of crystallized water, causes shifting waves of tension and strain, just like boats cause as they skip across the water in warm sunny days.

People push the limits for what is considered, "safe-thin-ice."

The limits they push aren't just areas of grey, they turn black, like black ice that is the most dangerous of all. And by the time you are walking on it, it's too late.

If they take the breath-taking plunge, they estimate between two and five minutes, before cold-shock sets in to claim the last breath from your lungs.

Not long ago thirty three men had to be rescued who were ice-fishing in the most frigid of places, on over eight inch thick ice, when the weight of them broke and caused an ice floe. One man died.

There are always dangers when you decide to walk out onto the ice.

As we drove by the hoards, on the second unseasonably warm day, complete with warm breezes blowing, our daughter is the one who said it:  "That's how sin is really..... "  "You step into it and think it's fun and nothing bad happens so you keep doing it and thinking there won't be consequences."

The heavens may have opened up while all the angels sang:

The girl is growing up!

Isn't that wisdom we can all apply? 

We are enticed out on the thin ice of all life has to offer. The lure of something that seems important at the time. We do things, which we seem to get away, so we think we can do that again. Only that is never enough. So we usually end up going out farther and farther and are surprised when we step off into a fast moving current and cannot control the circumstances that are happening to us any longer.

Sin most often starts in small choices and then leaves us trapped in lifestyles that control us.

But there is One who can save us from the chasm we try so hard in the flesh to close the gap on. This abyss of sin between us and God.

That's what Jesus came to bridge.

And when we have Him in our life, we are swept off of our feet and a life of defeat, to no longer being under the control of our old sin nature.

It isn't luck or chance. Its not about being smart enough or self-sufficient enough.

It's about Jesus and what He did for us on the cross.

He is the ultimate Rescuer.

There is no situation He isn't qualified and certified, to redeem you from.

Just call out His Name.


He is the Life-Line we all need.

Run to Him while you still have breath in your lungs to speak His precious name.

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© Rhonda Quaney