Hello Fellow Swimmers,
Have you ever felt like giving up? Stupid question, huh? All of us have been at the end of our rope. Our physical, emotional, psychological resources almost gone. The tanks on empty…and we look up only to discover we’ve got miles to go…That’s the very reason I love this story:
It was a fog-shrouded morning, July 4, 1952, when a young woman named Florence Chadwick waded into the water off Catalina Island. She intended to swim the channel from the island to the California coast. Long-distance swimming was not new to her; she had been the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions.
The water was numbingly cold that day. The fog was so thick she could hardly see the boats in her party. Several times sharks had to be driven away with rifle fire. She swam more than 15 hours before she asked to be taken out of the water. Her trainer tried to encourage her to swim on since they were so close to land, but when Florence looked, all she saw was fog. So she quit. . . only one-mile from her goal.
Later she said, “I’m not excusing myself, but if I could have seen the land I might have made it.” It wasn’t the cold or fear or exhaustion that caused Florence Chadwick to fail. It was the fog.
Many times we too fail, not because we’re afraid or because of the peer pressure or because of anything other than the fact that we lose sight of the goal. Maybe that’s why Paul said, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14).
Two months after her failure, Florence Chadwick walked off the same beach into the same channel and swam the distance, setting a new speed record, because she could see the land.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” and then just a few verses later it says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God…” (Heb. 11:6)
Confidence…Assurance….Faith. How do those three words go together when we can’t see land? How do we have confidence and assurance when the bottom has fallen out? Some would say, “Well just suck it up!” “Come on, this too will pass.” or some other really cute cliche’ that makes you want to punch them in the throat.
First. let me say confidence and cockiness aren’t the same thing. Confidence come from knowing something is not only true, but knowing there is a preparation and precedent to make you believe in a certain outcome. It does not mean the absence of doubt or fear
so, with that in mind assurance is a feeling of the soul…a calm belief that you are in safe hands. It does not mean you have to like the present circumstances….just that you trust the one who made a promise to you that He will not let you go…and will even use this horrible situation to show you His power and grace
Many confessing believers never allow God to show His power and grace because they will not move on from the hurt and pain….of divorce, or death, or pain…..they choose to stay in it or wallow….almost as if to prompt others to wallow with them.
Faith doesn’t wallow. Faith expresses the reality…but with hope. Faith and hope swim together. Without hope you give up because you cannot see the land….
Please know that God keeps His promises. He will not desert you or try to damage you…but He will allow you to be tested. He will ask you to walk up the Mountain with your son, or daughter, or mate or parent and He will ask you to trust Him. Sometimes when it makes no sense. And a mile later….there’s the land or a ram caught by his horns in the thicket as Jehovah Jireh becomes, “The God who provides.”
I pray that you will be a messenger of hope and encouragement to thos who are swimming in the storms of life and cannot see land. I want to be one of those messengers of hope because I sure remember those who kept me going by saying, “you can do it. Just a mile more. Don’t give up. Don’t give in…don’t become weary in doing good. At the proper time…God will give the harvest…..”Hey. Look!!!! The Promised Land!”