For the past few weeks I have been taking our children to swim lessons and I have learned some valuable life lessons as I sat poolside observing them.
As I hear their instructors command, “Keep your head in the water!” I hear God say, “Keep your head in the water, the Living Water, Laurie.”
So often we go through the challenging times of life saying, “I just can’t keep my head above the water,” or “I just want to get my head above the water.” As if to say, “I am overwhelmed. I feel like I am going to be consumed by all that is around me and those that are begging for my attention,
Managing the home
Managing and dealing with unexpected issues.
Remembering to eat healthy and exercise.
Finding the rest and peace my mind, heart and body needs.
Perhaps your list is different than mine at the moment. Perhaps we share some of the same. But, I will assure you that it’s not, “I just can’t keep my head above water.”
Rather, it should be, “I need to keep my head in the water, the Living Water.”
When you first learn to swim, you must get a feel for the water and most would agree that that’s not an easy transition when you spend most of your time living on land. As we transition to the water world, we have to begin to trust the water and work with it so that we can become good swimmers. But, these two worlds are very different in their technique in movement and survival.
We spend most of our time and energy living on land. I dare say that on land we are more distracted and the hustle and bustle of life often leaves us feeling depleted. We learn to react more, burning our energy, and we carry these same life-depleting habits to the water.
My daughter admits, “Mom, I wanted to join swim team because I mostly doggie paddle, or swim underwater. I want to learn how to be a better swimmer, above the water.”
“Doggie paddling through the water is not swimming. It tires you out quicker,” admonishes the instructor.
I don’t want to doggie paddle through life. There are times when I feel strong in my faith and I am in the Word daily. Then, there are times when the waters of life feel like they’re raging against me and I am doing all I can to keep my head above the water. I am doggie paddling and tiring myself out when I should be swimming and trusting God to guide me through the raging waters.
I am reminded again, “Keep your head in the water”.
“When you put your head in the water, come up for air. Exhale when you put your head back in the water” one of the instructors reminds them.
I find that lately I have done more of the inhaling of life’s trials than the exhaling of them.
I learned that when you don’t exhale in the water and you hold your breath instead, the buildup of carbon dioxide in your system causes tension, making it hard for you to trust and feel the water. Exhaling in the water releases the tension.
How many times have I opened up His Word in times of utter stress and chaos and frantically looked for a verse that would set my mind and heart at peace like a magic pill? How many times have I expected that if I just pray a certain prayer, all would be better, but I fail to let “it” go and release the tensions to Him?
I fail to exhale.
I hear Him say, “Trust Me. Let Me guide you through the raging waters as you keep your head down and you release your tensions to Me.”
“When you’re exhaling, keep your head still. If you rotate you will get dizzy and uncoordinated,” another instructor chides.
He paints the picture in my mind as He teaches me to swim in raging waters. I must release the raging concerns and chaos within me and into the Living Water where my body will become weightless and trusting of the water as He guides me through it.
I think back to the one word God gave me for the year, “Rest” and the scripture,
“Be still and KNOW that I am God.” ~Psalm 46:10
The “rest” implies releasing the tensions unto Him, being still, and trusting that He; not me, will get me through it.
Maybe you feel like you’re doggie paddling and doing life in your own strength. God loves you and is your Savior, your LifeSaver. He wants to teach you and I how to be good swimmers in the many waters of life that we face.
Keep your head in the Living Water, His Word.
Exhale – Blow the bubbles and release your troubles to Him.
Swim as you trust the Living Water to smoothly guide you through the waters of life.
I am ready to swim, are you?
You are Loved,