Sink or Swim

I took swimming lessons when I was really little. I’ve always loved being in the water, but there was one part of swimming that used to freak me out: the diving board. At the place where I took swimming lessons, the diving board was super high up! I distinctly remember the first time I had to jump off that monster. My dad stood on the diving board with me, holding my hands, but then he let go. I had to jump all alone into the deep water and swim to the side. Scary! The diving board and the pool seemed huge! Nowadays, when I look back at the pictures of that pool, I realize things weren’t really as large as I thought; I was just little.

That situation reminds me of life. Sometimes when we’re caught in the middle of a situation that seems absolutely gigantic, our problems are all we focus on. Sometimes it might even feel like God has pushed us into our situation while He stands up above us and watches to see if we sink or swim. Thankfully, my Dad wasn’t waiting for me to go under. He could have jumped into the water the very second I started drowning if he needed to. But if we compare God to the role my dad played in my swimming lessons, we’re missing out on something super important. True, God watches our every move and He knows exactly when we need help, but He isn’t just standing up in Heaven watching us. He wants to be a part of our lives, and He wants to be in on the action. Sometimes we’ve got to face some pretty deep water, but He’s always there swimming next to us. I think we forget that sometimes, or at least I do. Sometimes I forget God isn’t just overlooking my situation and coaching me every now and then. Instead, He’s right there with me and He wants me to trust that He’s got everything under control. Here’s proof:

Deuteronomy 31:8 says,

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (NIV)

Not only does God stay with us, He’s also sent Someone who has seen how crazy this life can be.

Hebrews 2:15-16 says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (NIV)

I don’t know about you, but that kinda puts things in perspective for me. No matter what I’m going through, I am never alone. On top of that, God knows exactly what I’m experiencing because Jesus was faced with all kinds of worldly stuff when He was on earth. But the cool thing is, Jesus didn’t sin! But He knows what life is like, so we should never be afraid of asking for His help.

Back to my little pool scenario: That thing seemed so big when I was younger, but it doesn’t seem like much of anything now. Looking back, I can’t believe I was scared of that. But when I think of how little and inexperienced I was, I can kind of understand what little me was going through. I’m thinking that whatever we may be going through may seem awful now, but once we allow God to carry us safely to the other side, we’ll have a much wiser perspective. So, if there’s a moral to the story, it’s this: What we’re going through may seem like a gigantic situation right now—and it may be—but we’ve got to remember that God is with us; not only cheering us on, but swimming alongside us the entire way. It’s not a matter of whether we sink or swim, but rather it’s about how we choose to use the situations we find ourselves in. We’ve also got to remember to let Him use our situations for His glory and trust that one day we’ll be able to look back and see how He led us and taught us during our trials. Once we’re safe on the other side of the pool, so to speak, we will be able to see how we really have become a difference.

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