Have you ever noticed how some people can stay afloat when engulfed in troubles and hardships, while others sink to the bottom? What sets the swimmers apart from the sinkers? From what I’ve seen, the biggest factor seems to be faith in God’s love. When those who understand how much God loves them find themselves in over their heads, they know He won’t let them drown. So, unlike those who don’t have such faith, they don’t wear themselves out struggling just to keep their heads above water—or worse, panic and go down all the quicker. Buoyed by their faith, the swimmers can concentrate their energy on getting to solid ground.
If you feel more like a sinker than a swimmer, you can get ready for the next sink-or-swim situation by strengthening your faith in God’s love. The scope and depth of His love are beyond our comprehension, but the Bible likens it to the love of a father for his children. “He is like a father to us, tender and sympathetic to those who reverence him.”1 God doesn’t enjoy seeing you in trouble. He isn’t trying to make life hard for you. He is on your side and wants to see you happy and fulfilled. That doesn’t mean He will never let you have problems, but when you find yourself in over your head, you can be sure He will be there for you. In fact, there is a verse in the Bible in which He promises that very thing: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.”2
The first step in learning to swim is learning to float, and that starts with learning to relax and not fight the water. Put yourself in God’s hands, lie back, relax, and let Him support you. Practice in the shallows, and you will be ready for whatever the future may hold.
The nearer my approach to the end, the plainer is the sound of immortal symphonies of worlds which invite me. For half a century I have been translating my thoughts into prose and verse: history, philosophy, drama, romance, tradition, satire, ode, and song; all of these I have tried. But I feel I haven’t given utterance to the thousandth part of what lies within me. When I go to the grave I can say, as others have said, “My day’s work is done.” But I cannot say, “My life is done.” My work will recommence the next morning. The tomb is not a blind alley; it is a thoroughfare. It closes upon the twilight, but opens upon the dawn.—Victor Hugo (1802–1885)
1. Psalm 103:13 TLB
2. Isaiah 43:2