This morning I woke up thinking about standing on The Rock again. I was reminded of all the summers spent at the Frio River, swimming in a deeper hole below the dam at Garner State Park. I loved that area. On the deep side of the river there were three large stones that we would swim to and from. The stones were in a shady spot underneath the large cypress trees.
As I reflected that Jesus IS the rock that we swim to, we also used those rocks to push off from. That got me to thinking that the Lord gives us His strength, not only for our own benefit, but to use for His kingdom. “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.” (Eph. 2:10) When we receive strength from the Lord, through His mighty power that is available, we can make it through the challenges that life throws at us. When this happens, God is glorified (Eph. 3:21).
How can we as believers step into the things He wants us to do for His kingdom? We can take the advice from Dory in Finding Nemo. She asked: “When life gets you down, you know whatcha gotta do?” “Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming!” I thought again how knowing where those boulders were in the river, even if I was tired, I knew I could reach them for safety and rest–I just needed to keep swimming!
Paul said, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” (Heb. 12:1) In the 1970’s we had a saying in our youth group, “just keep on keeping on”. Just put one foot in front of the other onto the path the Lord has lighted for you–and trust in Him.
And the next verse gives us the practical application: “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” (Heb. 12:2) We stay in the Word and pray without ceasing with hearts that are thankful (1 Thess. 5:16-18). Through our trials and struggles, He gives us what we need, while refining us so that He can see His image in us. That’s our joy and our prize — that we are becoming perfected through each trial.
The Lord showed me this morning that He is The Rock from which we draw our strength and stability. But He never intended for us to stand in one place. What He does is for His glory, not necessarily for our benefit. Pushing off from The Rock, is taking swimming with Him IN His power so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. We just need to keep swimming and keep our eyes on Jesus.