You’ve heard people say “sink or swim” right? Usually, you hear it when people talk about life. Get in the pool and make a decision to either sink to the bottom of the pool or swim to the other side; one means success and the other means failure. But let me tell you what I see more often than those; treading water.
I grew up most of my years in Orlando, FL. Surfing came naturally. I had good balance and if you get a long board you can pretty much catch any wave no matter how small. Inevitably, there was always someone that thought they would just swim out by themselves into the surf. No board to help them float, just their own strength. Surfers are watching for the next waves and usually not paying attention to lone rangers in the pounding surf. But it happens like clock work. That lone swimmer gets tired of swimming and starts treading water. And usually it doesn’t last too long before they need rescuing. Life guards are quick to respond, but the local surfers are there too. I’ve pulled people on my board that had “Mr. Universe-size” muscles. The waves look fun; it’s easy to swim out and into the waves. It’s harder than it looks.
No one can tread water forever. Whether you’re the world record holder going for 85 hours, or you’re a novice and get wiped out quickly, no one can tread water forever.
Everyone needs someone to help them back to shore. Are you treading the waters of life right now? Do you dread going to work? You don’t have to. Help someone else that might be treading waters at work and you’ll find that you have a reason to go in every day.
Feeling like your home life is a mundane and boring routine? It doesn’t have to be like that. You can make a difference in someone else’s life. Boring can become exciting when you give yourself a purpose.
Feeling alone in the water today? You’re not. Read those words again; You are not swimming alone.
Let someone come beside you and guide you through the waves. If you are hesitant about letting someone close to you, just give in and give them a chance. Trust me when I tell you that I understand being cautious about how much to share with others, but it doesn’t change the fact that we need someone to help us.
I’d invite you to find a community of faith somewhere in your area. If a friend has invited you to their church, give it a try (not just once though – go back a few times and meet people). The more swimmers there are in the surf, the more help there is when we find ourselves treading water again.
Swimming alongside you,
We must not quit meeting together, as some are doing. No, we need to keep on encouraging each other. This becomes more and more important as you see the Day getting closer. Hebrews 10:25 (ERV)
Matt Hastings lives with his wife Keri and their five children in Tullahoma, Tennessee. He is the pastor of the Estill Springs Church of the Nazarene. [Editor’s Note: Matt has graciously allowed us to republish his weekly email devotionals on our site for our readers.]