Under Water

Sharks in the water

If you were to ask my mom how much I enjoy being in the water, she would say something to the effect of, “He is a fish.”. Needless to say, I love swimming and being in the water on a hot summer day. I loved the water so much that one time I spent a little to much time in my backyard pool one afternoon. I ended up with a lobster red back and could not sleep on my back for two days. That was not fun, but that is not the story I came here to tell you today. The story that I want to tell you is about how my innocent game of playing a shark nearly ended tragically. 
During my teenage years, I took every opportunity to go on little trips with my church’s youth group. One of my favorite trips during the end of the summer was going to a water park for the day. Being the fish that I am, this was a blast for me. It also let me release my inner kid while I was splashing friends left and right. As a group, we would typically go on the water slides for the first part of the day. Once we got tired of that, we would go on to the lazy river and relax for one full lap.
Once we had re-energized from the lazy river, we would all gather back at our meeting spot in the park. The meeting spot was near the wave pool, my favorite of the entire water park. The wave pool is the closest thing to going to Lake Michigan or the ocean as we landlocked people can get. On this particular day, there were a vast number of people in the wave pool and throughout the park. The wave pool looked less like a pool of water and more like a pool of people and tubes. So when I get in, I blobbed up and down for awhile with the crowd. I got bored with that, so I decided to play a game. I played a shark in this game and all I had to do was sneak up on some unsuspecting person, dive under the water, grab their ankle, freak them out and I would win the game. Simple enough. There was enough of my friends scattered throughout the pool that I could do this and not have to be awkward by grabbing some random strangers ankle. So began the game. When I started, there were small waves being made in the pool, so it was easy to swim around and play my game underwater. Then the waves stopped and I took a breather. I waited until the waves started up to start my game again so as not to draw suspicion. The waves started to grow in strength and height. I was having a blast diving under and being my weird self. 
I dove under when a wave was heading my way so that I could get far under the water. There was only one problem, the crowd of people became so thick above me that I could not find a hole to come up. I went from goofing around to freaking out in no time at all. I tried pushing people out of the way, but they wouldn’t budge. I was running out of air, my muscles started to cramp and my lungs started to burn. I was panicking and thinking that my silly game was going to be the end of me. That was a terrifying thought. I gave one last try and pushed my head up between some tubes that were grouped together. Thank goodness tubes are round and not square to allow space between them. I gasped for air and called it a day.

The application

A lot of situations in life can be like a wave pool. We start walking out into the deep end thinking that it is totally fine to get hit by these tiny waves. Then the waves start to grow, but we can’t stand them anymore and get dragged under. Sometimes, we even dive right into the waves of our own accord. Just like those waves, life can overwhelm us very quickly. Sometimes it hits us like a wall of water and all the sudden we are drowning. It sucks…a lot, but here is the great part. We don’t have to walk into the pool alone. We can walk into the pool with the understanding that God will be there beside us through it all. He will be there to pull us up through the crowd of people as we gasp for air.

I am not saying that you should walk up to someone and grab their ankle. That would be weird and you might get kicked in the face in the process. What I am saying though is what are you doing to get peoples attention so that you can have the conversation with them about God? Jesus did not spend His days on earth as a couch potato hoping that people would come to Him. No, He went out and talked with people and loved them. So if you are not talking to people about God, what is one small step you can take to start those conversations?

So you have a choice, you can let life overwhelm you and get sucked under by wave after wave or you can reach out to God and ask for Him to help you withstand the waves. Matthew 7:24-27 is a great example of this. Listen to God, trust Him and be willing to walk into the deep end fully trusting that He will keep your head above the waves.

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