Why Struggle When I Can Stand?

Psalm 20:7-8 Some trust in chariots but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.

We were on family vacation 1970s style. With our legs suctioned-cupped by sweat to the "luxurious" vinyl seats of our 1960s VW van, we kids couldn't wait to make it to our nighttime destination. We had scarcely rolled to a stop at the roadside motel before all four of us tore from the vehicle to a chorus of whoops. We then changed into our bathing suits at a speed that would evoke admiration from Clark Kent.

Before our parents had unloaded the first suitcase, we raced to the motel pool. It was typical of the time period: a concrete rectangle roughly divided one-third/two-thirds into a "shallow" end and a "deep" end. My three older siblings plunged immediately into the water but I stood tenuously at the water's edge suddenly wondering if I wasn't wiser to stand on the other side of the chain link fence until my mom brought my "swimmies" to the pool.

I couldn't yet swim and my older sisters always eager to help decided I needed a crash course in the fine art of swimming. They threw me right into the deep end and cackled as I thrashed and wailed for help. I wasn't drowning but I wasn't exactly certain how long I could flop around like a fish out of water and survive. In the end, my brother had mercy on me. With one arm wrapped tightly around my waist, he swam me to the safety of the pool's edge. He had rescued me.

Today's reading is 2 Peter 2. Peter is warning his readers that many teachers will come full of greed and looking to exploit the followers of Christ (Verse 3). In every generation there have been pretenders who have used the name of Jesus for their own gain or to feed their selfish ambition rather than to truly worship Christ. Truly there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Peter is not discouraged nor dissuaded by those who seek to destroy the faith. He is confident that God is able to contend with all manner of misguided, self-seeking individuals (Verses 4-8). The same God is certainly able to rescue me (Verse 9).

At times I thrash about in my life wondering how long I can stay afloat through my own strength and determination. All the while, God remains nearby wondering if I'll call out for His rescue. But not every trial I encounter takes me straight to the deep end. Some do but many are just the every day frustrations of living. Others I bring on myself through shallow and selfish thinking. In the shallow end, I simply need to refocus on my faith, find my footing and stand up.

Jesus, thank you for swimming with me through the trials of life. I don't need to wait on you to bring me some swimmies because I'm never alone in the pools of life. Today if I begin to thrash about help me remember You are near and simply stand up out of my shallowness and into the depth of Your love. You are my rescue.

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