When summer heats up, I love to hit the water. Swimming, paddleboarding, floating, you name it! For us parents, it is also an important time to be alert around bodies of water to make sure everyone is safe.
While coming to the aid of a struggling child swimmer is relatively straightforward due to their smaller size, saving a drowning adult is harder than it seems. It requires a degree of cooperation by the swimmer, or you too can be dragged under. The challenge is that fear from the struggling swimmer often gets in the way of trusting the one coming to help.
The two remaining options are poor at best when fear takes over, and there is no trust. Either knock the swimmer unconscious and then drag them to shore (with superhuman strength), or wait for them to struggle until their strength gives way, and then rescue them (with superhuman strength). Indeed, the best option is a compliant struggling swimmer, eager to surrender all fear and release full trust to the aid of another.
This illustration is a great reminder of our relationship with God. The circumstances of our lives, and our responses to them, can often make us feel like we are drowning. And we as well can easily be overcome with fear. Rather than surrender our full trust to God, we naturally work even harder on our own to try to get our heads above water. God is always right beside us in arms reach, yet our fear or pride can keep us from reaching out. He simply waits for us to give up our fruitless struggle and reach out our limp hands for his life-giving embrace.
In 2 Corinthians 12, the apostle Paul himself lamented over the circumstances he was drowning in. God’s response was simply, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” If you are lamenting over any of your current circumstances, or perhaps you are frustrated with your response to those circumstances, receive those same words from your Father. You were not meant to be enough on your own. Allow hard things to move you to the easy thing of making room for God to take over.
Then you can join in Paul’s conclusion, “Therefore, I will rejoice in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” If it seems like Paul’s life was always going swimmingly, it was due to his full surrender to God. His power was not found in His own efforts, but in God’s power shining through His weaknesses. Maybe the next time you gasp for air after a cool dip in the water, remember God is our ultimate life preserver that fits each of us perfectly!