Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A "Swimming Lessons" Lesson

I heard the enthusiastic swim instructor's voice bounce off the water, “Now we are going to work on our Elementary Back Stroke.”

I did not need to hear my youngest daughter’s voice. Her face and body language said it all. Across the pool, I could distinguish tears from pool water, running down her face. Her brow was furrowed, her shoulders hunched and her hands cupped and lifted up out the water. She was sure to be saying “But I don’t know how to do that stroke!”

The instructor, with a tender smile and a hug, gently plucked her out of the pool and placed her on the rim. She demonstrated to my daughter how to move her arms and legs. My daughter’s strain melted into a smile, as she jumped in to the pool to try it for herself, and all was well again in Level 3 swim lessons at our local pool.

I don’t know about you, but I can relate to how my daughter felt. I’m going along, listening to the Lord, working on whatever He has for me for the moment, and then I find myself up against something that I have no idea how to handle. I cry out “Help! But I don’t know how to do this new challenge!” There are challenges like holding on to a slippery hope, or speaking the truth even when the other person is not willing to listen, or believing that God has a future for me, when it seems as if all looks like a murky abyss, or dealing with memories that had been put aside, only to now, again rear their heinous head.

“Help, God! I don’t know how to do this one! I've been working hard on these other issues, but I wasn’t expecting this one, and now what do I do!”

And then with the gentleness that only God possesses, He lifts us up and sets us down, and begins to teach us the way in which we can handle the challenge before us. When we seek Him, we will find the way, and He will show us. This I know to be true. It is part of my story with God that I can attest to, but when I am caught off guard, I have to stop and even remind myself.

My two older kids are at camp this week. I was trying to memorize the verse that they were working on yesterday, when I witnessed this little interaction with my daughter and her swim instructor – evidence of God at work, again.

Jeremiah 6:16 says, (when you don’t know what to do …) “This is what the Lord says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Dear reader, are you at a crossroads? Have you come upon a time of choice and decision? Are you faced with a new dilemma or a reminder of an old one that you need to process through and deal with? This is what the Lord says, seek Him. Seek Him in prayer. Seek Him through His Word, the Bible. Seek Him through the wisdom of those who also love Him. Stand and look around and ask Him to show you the path of truth that you are to walk in. His path is the “tried and true” way. It is the good way.

God will show you, and when He does, He asks us to walk in the way that He reveals to us. It was scary for my daughter to have to jump back in the water and try the “new” stroke that her teacher taught her. It can be scary for us to step out and do what God is asking us to do as well, but He is faithful and it is in seeking and obeying Him that we will find rest for our souls. That’s a promise.

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