Standing in the chilly waters of the grey, shuddering waves of Kimmeridge Bay, the cold seeping upwards to my chest, the thought of actually swimming in it could not be entertained. Over a few minutes, the skin can acclimatise to the temperature and the initial shock disperses. Emmersion in the liquid brings further shock, but suddenly, launching out in to the cold body of water, and we away.!
After three minutes, and the cold has worn off, or the warm flesh has succumded to the inevitable lower temperature, and the heat generated by the swimming keeps the surface of the body from becoming too cold.
Ten minutes and the swimmer is in heaven. The balance of the cold water and the warmth of action brings a seriously liberating sensation of total control and balance. As long as the swimmer keeps under the water and working, the feeling of joy is maintained. The presumed pain is not there, nor the biting sensation of the chilly water.
This principle can also be seen in our everyday lives, especialy when the days are difficult and there is pressure and pain around. We teeter on the brink of doubt, and fear to launch ourselves in to the unknown and unattractive medium we find ourselves in. We stand there in the cold, wishing we had never come and telling ourselves it is impossible to cope with such stringency.
If only we could really know that trust in the one who made all things, then we will stand up under the test. If we could believe what we say we believe, and strike out for the long-distance shore, wading or swimming through the cold, we will get through and more.
The joy we all feel when we do something difficult and the trust that is built between our own lilly-livered hearts and the eternal God of heaven, gives us strength and confidence to strike out again and again.
Knowing this God and the power of his resurrection, is what gives those who believe in him the fortitude and persistence to carry on through life, and to be overcomers. Overcoming is the mark of the Christian and keeping our faith sure to the end, gives eternal life, and a character that loves God and those around us in a true and sacrificial way.
Should you find yourself standing alone, you have a unique opportunity to know the keeping and strenghtening power of God for yourself. It is good to have others to help and encourage, but if we only have God, we have all things and all power to sustain us.
As we keep swimming and persisting with the task God has given us to do, there is real joy and peace and balance and strength. To walk with God is the way to life, and those who keep going will endure to the end.
Those who launch out, are never disappointed and find a strength that will not fail, even in the darkest hour. Practice launching out, every day and it will become second nature…