The New Church Lady

Weightier Matters

IS SINK OR SWIM MY ONLY OPTION?

I don't know about you, but for me it can sometimes be very difficult to let go and let God take care of things. Even when I have "given it to" God in prayer, I can lay awake at night taking it back to worry over the situation some more. 

Society tells us that we can and should be masters of our own destinies, and our own human nature confirms it. We want to feel the empowerment of doing it ourselves from the time we are little and first tie our own shoes. 

The stakes are even higher we feel like we are drowning or that someone we love is drowning - overwhelmed by grief or fear or pain or sickness or other suffering. We think "if I don't swim (that is, if I don't take action and do something), I will drown.

I believe the following phrases come from a "sink or swim" view of life: "I am afraid for our country if X becomes president... If we allow same sex marriage... If we take in those refuges from Syria...I am afraid for the human race if we don't do something about global warming...If we don't destroy ISIS...If we don't eradicate Zika...." 

I guess I should expect to hear that from agnostics and atheists and the unchurched. What else do they have to pin their hopes on besides what mankind can do for themselves? 

But when I hear it from Christians, I think "Is sink or swim really the only option for a Christian's life?" Why would a Christian fear for their nation regarding any political decision? Or fear for their church if it does or doesn't do X? Or fear for themselves because a situation is out of their own control.

Should we be a "sink or swim" Christians? Well, maybe we can look to Peter, who literally had that option one night on the sea of Galilee.

Matthew 14:23-33 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.
When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” "Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” "Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Peter could have started swimming when he felt himself sinking. He could not have been that far from the boat at this point. Maybe he could have made a leap back into the boat. Seems like Peter didn’t even think about those options in his critical time of need. He thought about calling on Jesus, whom he had at least trusted enough to take a shot at walking on water with in the first place.

Although atheists, agnostics and the unchurched must, unfortunately, be buffeted about by the storms in life, and trust in only their own strength to survive, we Christians are blessed because we have an option beyond "sink or swim." We don't have to either one. We don’t rely on ourselves to do all the work to save us, nor do we need to resign ourselves to drowning. We have a third option: call on Jesus to pull us out of the disastrous consequences of our own sins and faults and bad decisions, or those of the nation where we live, or those of time and chance, or those of this Satan-lead world.

Peter's example tells me that, when I am drowning in life's painful moments, l can give up and sink, or I can take matters into my own hands and swim, or I can hold onto Jesus and, defying all odds and the laws of nature, while holding onto Him, I can walk on water.

Dare to reach out for Jesus walk on water, sisters. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts too. Write me at:

Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org.

About the N.E.W. Church Lady – She is just an average middle aged woman who has been a believer and church attender all her life. She is married with three grown children. She lives in a small town and works in sales. Her hobbies are fitness, reading, cooking, writing and travel.