Earlier this Summer, my family took a trip to San Diego. As I sat there on the beach, I was revisited by childhood memories of swimming in the ocean.
The sun would barely be coming up, when my mom would cover my brothers and I in layers of sunscreen before we’d go out into the water. One particular trip, I was dragged in an undertow, seconds felt like minutes as I fought the wave to spit me out. My dad was able to grab a hold and pull my 40-pound self out of the water. As I coughed up stinging saltwater, I vowed never to swim that far again… my vow of course did not last long.
The following day at the beach, I stayed on the shore watching my dad and brothers get tossed around by the waves. I wanted to be them, carefree and fearless… but the crashing tide reminded me of the defeat from the day before. That afternoon, my dad took my board with one hand and my hand with the other and said, “Let’s go.” Just two simple words… two words that I could be sure of. My dad has always been a man of few words… his actions did the talking, and I could always be confident that with him at my side, I’d be okay.
So, we went back out into the water. He taught me how to dive under the larger waves and jump through the smaller ones. His hand never seemed to let go of my board until I was ready to ride back to shore. It was as if time stopped, my fears were diminished, and I too, felt carefree.
As I sat on the beach this Summer, revisited by this memory, I felt my Heavenly Father speak to me through it. I can look back at times of trial or pain and think, “God, where were you?” The reality is that He was there, even in those moments. It was His hand that pulled me out from those undertows. It was the moments where I felt in over my head that I realized I needed the strength and protection of my Father. The same hand that pulls me out of moments of defeat, is the same hand inviting me to go forward on new adventures with Him.
Isaiah 43:2 “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.”