The Thrill of Defeat

Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and salvation.

She stood on the top pool step slumped slightly to one side. Her eyes moved pensively over the surface of the water. I tried to hide my own distress with a smile. I reached out my arms though they were far out of her grasp. She had to swim to reach them.

From the moment Carynne (4) entered the world, she screamed in the bath. How in the world could a baby developed in water have an inherent fear of it?  Isn't that against nature?  Carynne had no interest in the rules of nature, she loathed water.

With five girls in the house we've instituted a strict "no whining" policy.  Baths and trips to the pool are no exception.  My baby needed to conquer her fear.

We did it together.  We used the sprayer in the bath making certain no water landed on her face.  We laid down in the tub and learned to relax our shoulders.  We went to the pool and put just our faces in the water.  Eventually we "swam" by holding Mommy's hands a few feet at a time.  Two weeks ago she took her first shower.  Graduation (i.e. a real swim) was the final test.

We headed to the pool.  After two weeks of swim lessons, Rynnie knew how to swim but still wasn't sure she could swim.  It wasn't skill she lacked; it was nerve.  As she stood in trepidation, I heard her mutter to herself, "Let me think about myself for a minute."

I'll never know exactly what she told herself .  I imagine she went to the place of strength and asked Jesus for help.  She glided into the water.  By the end of the day she swam the cross distance of the pool.  Fear was defeated. 

Today's scripture is Psalm 27.  David wonders some of the same things Rynnie probably did on the top step of the pool.  When fear threatens, David knows his source of strength is God alone.  Fears left untouched become strongholds - impenetrable places where we shut God out.

David proclaims he fears no one.  He goes to God and finds his shelter there.  By the water, Rynnie found strength.  Her heart found courage. 

Jesus, when I hide in You, fear is defeated.  Hiding in Your shelter allows me to step out in faith.  My heart finds confidence and I experience the thrill of fear defeated.


  1. I need to find out how you instituted this "no-whining" rule! Nice job getting your little gal over her fear. I'm sure her trust and love in you helped give her strength as well!

  2. lol, Sarah - well I have been parenting girls for like 36 collective years... It's been many years in the making. And that kind of whine doesn't get better with age.

    Thank you so much for visiting.

  3. Wow, that's awesome! Yes, I need to take stock in that "no-whining" rule. I mean, I tell my kids that all the time, but so far it's not working! !!!


  4. Mandi, Thank you so much for visiting. I am so honored. You could always send your kids to Auntie Shannie no whining bootcamp... :) jk

  5. Great spiritual parallel. I appreciate the reminder to give God control, not fear!

  6. I love this and think we often need to step back before jumping into the water and ask, "Let me think about myself for a minute." Are we doing this on our own strength, our own imitative, for our own glory: or is it by God's strength and direction.


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