Sitting on the front of the raft, with my feet dangling in the cold river water, I marveled at the beautiful nature surrounding me. How thankful I was for life, for my friends! I could have sat there at the front of the raft for hours, just letting the cold water ripple through my toes as I pondered life in general. Grandpa let us know that he was not thrilled with this Father's Day event, spending a boring time rafting in a river with no rapids. I had offered to make it more exciting for him - like tipping the boat or something - but he didn't act very thrilled about it.
Behind me, Grandpa was straining at the oars. "I can't keep this raft straight into the wind without you rowing in the front," he said with despair.
I gingerly picked up an oar and winced as my knees scratched against some grainy bits of sand at the bottom.
As we worked against the wind (which was pulling us upstream instead of downstream) the sun beat down on our backs. I grew hot and tired and wondered what the cold water would feel like if I was dunked in. "Throw me overboard," I told Grandpa with a grin.
"Something's wrong with Mamma in her raft," Bethany pointed.
My mother had just recovered from being sick for two weeks, and she was still recuperating. I could see my mother lying down in the boat while Grandma rowed alone.
"What's wrong?" Grandpa yelled.
"Suzanne's feeling sick!" Grandma called back.
We paddled over to the boat with concern. "Are you alright Mamma?"
She nodded faintly, but I could tell that something was definitely wrong.
"She's feeling nauseous," Grandma explained.
We all decided to paddle back to where we started off and unload because of my mother's unfortunate illness. Dark, looming clouds began to form on the horizon and they grew closer, casting a silent shadow over the water. I honestly didn't feel like jumping overboard anymore. Suddenly raindrops began to patter over our heads.
We tried to win a loosing battle as we paddled as fast as we could for the boat launch. I knew we could never make it back before we were soaking wet - it was too far away.
Faster and faster the raindrops fell, pelting into the water and making tiny, beautiful impressions all over the river. I wished that I had my camera with me to both capture the scenary and my grandpa's grimacing face.
Just as it began to really downpour, we neared a muddy beach and waited for a few minutes as the rain began to slightly calm down. By that time it was too late - we were all soaking wet and I was oddly amused at the significant turn of events.
Afterwards we all talked about the adventures we had - when we missed an oar and Bethany leapt out to get it, when I jumped overboard and forgot to take off my hat, and when Grandma and I sunk our toes into the deep mud of the river shoreline, pulling the rafts behind us.
My mother was very sick, and rested for the rest of the day. We believe that she suffered from heat exhaustion that day in the Connecticut River. It took her eight days of bed rest to regain her strength and health.
"The rain," I thought, "God sent the rain to cool my mother down." Others might have considered the rain a discouraging moment in our rafting trip, but I was thankful for the rain more than ever before. The coolness of the raindrops prevented my mother from having a heat stroke...and a longer recovery!
I am determined to accept the sun or the rain as both a blessing. God ultimately knows what is best for us, and although we may not always understand, He does. The Lord cared for my mother that day by sending what we naturally thought was an inconvenience. Instead, He had granted us a special blessing. How glad I truly am that He sent the rain.