Hello and happy Monday my friends! Amanda here, I had a little something laid on my heart last Sunday that I have been waiting to share with you all. I hope this blesses someone today!
It is summer time here in the southern U.S. and that means good food, cold drinks, nearly unbearable heat, and lots of swimming! My kids are so excited every year to get back in the water. Despite their enthusiasm neither one of them are very strong swimmers. They seem to fight the water more than anything haha!
I was driving home from church when this thought zapped me! It was like a divine download and I immediately turned on my talk-to-text and starting writing a rough draft of this post. My kids were in the car listening and they clapped when I was finished haha! I am taking that as a sign everyone needs to hear this!
The struggle of learning to swim can be a great analogy for the trials we sometimes face.
It is often during life's trials that we have biggest the opportunity for spiritual growth. Those times when we feel we must cling to God the tightest (though we should cling to Him always) provide moments of immense grace, wisdom, empathy, and insight into His will...Only sometimes it doesn't feel that way does it? Sometimes we feel as though we have been thrown into rough waters without a life jacket and just cannot get out! No matter how hard we thrash we just can't break free from the raging current that keeps pushing against us. Intent on sweeping us away. So often during these times we scream and cry out to God to pull us out of the water. Begging him to pick us up and lay us on the dry shore where we can rest in the sunlight. And while there certainly are times when God absolutely does that, there are many times when He doesn't.
Instead of pulling us out and letting us give up he says, "No my love, you MUST learn to swim through this. This current is here to teach you something. Do not be afraid. I will be your strength. I will show you the way, but YOU must do the swimming!". He will be there to feed us with his word so that we stay strong. Comfort and encourage us with his presence so we do not despair. And protect us from the attacks of enemy. HE is the life jacket!
Still, if the waters get rough enough, we may start to doubt Gods plan - or his goodness. We may believe the enemies lie that we are being punished, abandoned, or lose all hope that things will get better. That is when we start to sink, and we are at the mercy of the raging current. Drifting wherever it takes us. That my dear friends is one of the scariest things I can imagine, yet we do it often! We turn to "quick comforts" instead, things like food, TV, games on our phones, excessive sleep ect... Things that offer that instant gratification we so often crave. We feel comfortable, satisfied (briefly) and completely unaware of the fact that we are drowning! THIS is why we have to be vigilant!
We must keep our eyes on Him as we swim. If we listen to his instructions and his guidance. If we truly trust him. The growth and wisdom that are waiting on the other side are going to be more important and impactful than we can imagine. We will be able to not only swim farther and faster the next time we are in the water, but we will also be able to help others do the same! We will understand them on a deeper more personal level because we have been there and survived. We can help teach others to swim.
I'm going to leave you with this verse which is SO fitting for todays post, "When you pass through the waters, I WILL BE WITH YOU, and the rivers will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, and the flame will not burn you." Isaiah 43:2 CSB (emphasis mine).
I would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments!