Have you ever saved someone from drowning? The experts will tell you that it can be a dangerous affair, not only for the victim as you might expect, but for the rescuer.
When a person is drowning, especially an adult, they will often panic. In Esther Inglis-Arkell’s article on, “Why Resuers Die while Drowning Victims Survive”, she notes that: “Someone who is panicking will instinctively clutch at anything and use it push themselves up. This means pushing their rescuer down, which is easy to do if the rescuer is tired, or if they’ve pinned their rescuer’s arms.”
Have you ever felt like a drowning man? When the waves of adversity come crashing down over you again and again; when you find yourself just able to keep your head above the waters?
It’s a standard practice among professional lifeguards when approaching someone drowning, to stay away from the victim thrashing about until they exert all of their energy; it’s not until then – that they move in to help.
I’ve found that there is an interesting parallel in my spiritual walk with the Lord Jesus. When there are circumstances that come up that I am unhappy with or that don’t fit into my plans, I can easily start thrashing about in the water. I struggle to control things, so that I can have my way. Ultimately, I end up frustrated, confused and exhausted until I am quickly reminded to “hand it over” to God.
This, no doubt, is a very hard lesson to learn: Learning to Rest. So often God’s plans are not our plans, and certainly His timing is not our timing. We want things now. We want to be happy and feel good all the time. We want to be on the mountain top – every day. Don’t we?
The apostle Paul understood though, that when we enter into the Kingdom of God through the blood of Jesus, we go into something of a spiritual training camp. “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 9:25 )
I believe God needed to teach Paul this valuable lesson, which is ultimately a lesson of total trust in His love for us. We too must learn to surrender all to God; trusting in His sovereignty, His power, His goodness, His timing, His control. I am reminded of the very eloquent words the apostle wrote to the Philippians while in prison:
“I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:12-13)
Have you learned the secret as well? The secret of resting in God’s Grace? Perhaps we are in the process of being transformed together.
Lets stop thrashing around in the waters of adversity and learn to rest. God has the very best for you and I – if we will Trust Him.