This is what the Lord says—he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. – Isaiah 43:16:21
The past month or so has felt like a swim in deep waters. Not the enjoyable kind of leisurely swim. More like an awkward mix between flailing about, being tossed by waves, and even trying to ride the tide whenever possible. I’m a pretty good swimmer, but it feels like I’m doing some kind of dysfunctional doggie paddle.
The weird thing is, there’s dry land all around. Accessible, bare, dry land. I look at it, but exhausted, continue to swim.
So this is my awkward analogy of what it’s like living life with circumstances, but having an inborn tendency towards anxiety. There is the dry land of faith in God, and even more dry land created by coping skills I know will work, yet often the anxious water calls my name. And so I don my flippers and swim.
And I know I’m not the only one. There’s a reason God put verse after verse in the Bible about God’s faithfulness, about letting go of worry, about trusting Him for our every need. But we humans tend to swim, even if we don’t have to!
Here’s a thought. What if when Moses parted the Red Sea, and God made space for the people to cross, and they were like: you know dry land is awesome and all – but let’s see if we can swim? Ya, I know the enemy is all up our a**, and God made this clear path to escape, but maybe we should swim?
It sounds crazy and ridiculous. The people chose to take the path God set in front of them, but I wonder how often God parts the waters for us to walk through and we are like: ya – no thanks God – that’s awesome and all – but this sea of worry…I think I’d rather swim for a while. Sounds crazy. But we do it! At least I do it. Every single day I do it!
And as we swim and swim, maybe we have on our goggles, thinking the answers lie deep in the depths of our humanity. Maybe with enough Google power or endless searching the worry will disappear and we will find resolution. We get ourselves so far from shore that sometimes we even pray for a boat. God give me a freaking boat! Because I’m tired! And God is like – sister, I parted the waters. Dry land is right there. You just have to choose to stop worrying and looking for answers and just walk. Faithfully walk.
But it’s hard. I recognize how hard it is. To let go of control and walk on unfamiliar land that likely harbors challenges we are uncertain if we can face. But the thing is, we are never alone. Land or sea, God is faithful. But He wants us to step out of the ocean of worry and realize He’s got this. We can put our feet on the sand and start the long journey towards His promise land. We don’t have to stay stuck in between captivity and freedom. We can walk in His freedom right now – even with all the circumstances that make us want to vomit. He will take care of the ocean of our worries. It’s ok to get out and just walk in faithfulness. He’s got this.
So what if we stopped swimming. Maybe it’s time to head to the shore, dry off the worry with page after page of scripture, and walk on dry land. Not perfect dry land. Not land without challenges. But the land God miraculously created for His people. Equipped with everything we need. I think I’ll stop swimming. Will you?