I am swimming.
The water is nice and calm. I enjoy the balance of the warm sun on my face and the coolness of the clear, blue water as I gracefully swim in it. I dive under, feeling the amazing rush of water pass by me, and then I swim all the way back up to the surface. The breath that I inhale when returning to the world above is refreshing. I smile as the small waves ebb and flow against me. All is well.
I am unaware.
I’m enjoying my nice little swim so much that I don’t notice the dark clouds looming off in the distance. I am caught up in how the waves feel against my skin, how the sun’s rays are radiating off the water. The dark clouds move closer and closer, but I don’t see them. I have my eyes closed and my head leaned back, embracing the relaxation of it all.
I am caught.
Suddenly, the sun disappears. I can see the light from behind my eyelids vanish, and I quickly open my eyes to find that dark clouds have completely enshrouded the sky. The once-small and calm waves are now growing larger as the wind blows against them. I then realize that, despite warnings and precautions given to me, I did not bring a life jacket. I silently scold myself for being so careless, but I know it is too late now to regret my mistake. A medium-sized wave heads my way and I manage to avoid it from swallowing me. But I’m not sure how much longer I can hold on…
I am trying.
It doesn’t take long for the storm to grow stronger. I’m completely trapped in the middle of it. Do I face it? Do I cower in fear? Do I try to swim away from the enormous waves? I need to try to stay alive, I think to myself, I can’t give up! So, instead of swimming away, I stay where I am, courageously treading water for my life and facing the storm, alone.
I am struggling.
I continue treading water as much as I can, but the water continues to rise, and I can feel the waves getting stronger as they crash violently in my face. I breathe in as much air as I can while my head is still above water, just in case my arms and legs give out without my command and I go under without warning. The waves continue to grow in size. Suddenly, I am engulfed by an unbelievably huge wave. And I go under.
I am terrified.
The force of the wave hits me like a brick wall, my entire body becomes limp, and I’m surrounded by water on all sides of me. I open my eyes, but see nothing but darkness. I try to swim back to the surface, but the wind is so powerful that it seems that I will never taste sweet oxygen again. I try to hold onto the air that is stuck in my lungs. I feel a large bubble float past me, and I know that I have wasted my breath. And I panic.
I am drowning.
Once I begin panicking, I know that my fate is inevitable. I will surely drown in this awful storm. No one will know what happened to me. I will die alone, in this cold, dark sea. I decide that if I am to die, I will make it swift, so I decide to let out the rest of the air that is trapped in my lungs…
There is HOPE.
Just as I began to open my mouth and let my breath and life go, a small light shone before me. I peered at it and realized that it was coming from the surface. A glint of hope fluttered in my chest. Was that a light coming from a boat? Had the storm actually stopped and the sun was shining gloriously yet again? That small hope gave me enough strength and energy to swim my hardest back to the surface. My lungs burned, wanting the air to be released from my body. It seemed like an eternity before I reached the surface…
There is GRACE.
I gasped violently, so violently that a sharp pain shot through my chest, and it felt as if my throat were on fire. I gulped in as much air as I could, my lungs still aching from holding in air for so long. I blinked several times to get the water out of my eyes so I could see where the light was coming from..
…and I couldn’t believe what I saw.
There, maybe 100 feet away from me, was a lighthouse, it’s light obnoxiously bright and scanning the sea for any ships lost or in trouble.
How did I not see the land or the lighthouse before? Had the storm been so rough that it just led me toward shore?
I smiled. Because I knew the lighthouse couldn’t have been a coincidence.
It had been there the entire time, and I knew that.
There is PEACE.
I swam as fast as I could toward the lighthouse, ignoring my aching limbs. I wanted so much to be on land, to just lie on the ground, take a deep breath, and rest. I finally made it to shore and threw myself at the ground. I looked up at the lighthouse, the light continuing to shine. I smiled and felt my heart lift. There. Now I can feel it; this overwhelming peace and rest and comfort from being in that violent storm.
So, you’re probably wondering…
Why did I try to face the storm all alone and ignore the lighthouse entirely when I knew it was there the entire time?
Well…that’s a good question…
I ain’t gonna lie, y’all.
These past two weeks have been rough. I’ve been through so many things emotionally, physically, and spiritually that I feel like I’m just running on EMPTY right now. I feel so weak, so tired, so fed up with everything going on.
And, yes, I will admit that I haven’t been reading my Bible as much as I would like to this week or last week, which is probably the reason why all of my life levels are on empty right now. Trust me, I really do wish that I had filled myself with the Word and asked that God would just give me peace these past weeks. I probably wouldn’t feel the way I feel now.
It feels like I’ve been in, not just one, but several storms, and I continuously “go under,” unable to “breathe” or handle anything that’s going on. And, of course, my Lighthouse, my Savior, has been with me this entire time, shining His Light so brightly for me to see, calling for me to draw near to Him and rest.
…but I’ve been so stupid and foolish, ignoring His constant calls, even though I know it’s good for me, know it will save me and give me peace and comfort.
Why? Why did I ignore Him? Maybe it was because I wanted to sulk in my own troubles. Maybe because I wanted the comfort of this world.
But how could I have wanted the comfort of the world when the comfort of Jesus is surpasses everything?
My flesh is weak, y’all. So, so weak. But like I’ve said before, in my weakness, God is STRONG.
WILL. NEVER. BE. DISAPPOINTED.
The Bible is amazing. It is exactly what we need, when we need it.
I recently finished reading the book of James. But obviously, I need to reread it…just read some encouraging verses here…
2 My brothers and sisters, when you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy,
3 because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience.
4 Let your patience show itself perfectly in what you do. Then you will be perfect and complete and will have everything you need.
Totally what I need to be reminded of right now! Not only do I need to run to Christ when in times of trouble, but I should be JOYFUL as well! Of course, easier said than done, but that’s where God comes in. He is able to give me that unspeakable joy that can overcome the worst of times.
Sure, as I’m typing this, there is still a little of uneasiness, a little disappointment, a little sadness…a little restlessness. It’s midnight for crying out loud, and I need a shower and sleep! 😛
But, I know that God is faithful, and even though I can’t see the big picture right now, His plan is perfect. God has me right where He wants me at this point in my life, and I just need to continually keep trusting Him.
I need that overwhelming peace.
So, even now, I give up all of these awful feelings to my Rock, who doesn’t disappoint. And I ask for peace.
I pray that all of you, whatever you’re going through, run to God. Not to family, friends, school, music, books, or whatever.
Run to the One who is calling to you even now.
I love you all. Praying that He will continually work in your lives and you will notice Him working.
He is faithful.
- “I Am” by Cece Winans
- “Well, Alright” by Cece Winans