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When I was in University, my friends and I decided to go night swimming at a cottage on a lake in Eastern Ontario. Now, I always prided myself on being a good enough swimmer, so when the suggestion came to do this, I was immediately up for the challenge. We were supposed to swim a few hundred metres from the shore of my friend’s cottage to a small island. The plan was to rest there for a bit and then swim back. So, we all jumped into the water and proceeded to swim across the lake.
At first everything was going well, and I really thought I had what it took to make it across. But within the first sixty seconds of swimming, I started to feel my muscles tighten. I ignored the feeling and pushed through but then a few seconds later, I felt my stomach cramp up. Still I pushed through, after all my resolve and will were quite strong.
But as I continued to swim, probably about another 50 metres, I started to lose my breath to the point of near hyper ventilating. At 9pm in a deep dark lake in the middle of nowhere, I realized I was in serious trouble.
I had 2 choices before me: either turn back to the shore which was now out of sight and probably out of reach, or to keep pushing through to my destination. I decided to keep plowing ahead, so I swam on.
At this point, I actually began to drown. As I flailed my arms and fluttered my feet nothing happened. Instead of moving forward, I began to sink. Despite all my efforts and steely resolve, I began to succumb to the lake. Oh, how I wished I was standing on solid ground.
It was then that my friend, who I thought was already on the island, yelled out to me. “Are you ok?” he shouted. See, my friend was on the Varsity water polo team and thus he was an advanced swimmer. But instead of racing to the front of the pack, he had stayed behind to keep an eye on me, anticipating that I might need help.
He asked me again, “are you ok?” Too proud to admit that I was drowning, I said nothing. My friend grabbed me and told me sternly not to struggle but relax. He began to pull me back to the safety of the shore. I never got to see the island that night, but I am so thankful that my friend rescued me and helped me to reach stable ground.
Are you struggling, maybe even drowning, in a lake of personal issues, problems or bondage. I have good news for you today friend. God wants you to know that his grace can help you to stand.
Romans 5:1-2 This verse tells us that just as my friend reached out his loving arms to rescue me, God’s grace is manifested in Christ Jesus.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.
Grace means that it really has nothing to do with your competency, but all to do with the competency of the giver of the grace.
Just as I had virtually nothing to do with my rescue, God wants you to know that you cannot save yourself or clean up your own mess. You need him. You need a saviour. You need a cleanser. Today, why don’t you do what my friend told me to do – stop struggling and trust God. Stop trying to do it yourself and go all in with God.
Surrender yourself to him. This could mean taking a risk by sharing your situation with a godly friend or a godly leader, asking for help, or being kept accountable. But if you do, you just might see your circumstances begin to slowly but surely turn around. Be assured, God’s word is true and his grace can make you stand.
– Pastor Olu Jegede