Every now and again I ventured up the deep end
Reference: “I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me.” Psalm 69:2 NIV
Explore: Growing up in Australia in Summer it was a regular activity to go to the local swimming pool. Even our small town had a community pool. Mum would buy us a season ticket every summer so we could go down as many times as we liked.
Like most pools there was a deep end and a shallow end. Having learned to swim at a young age I was able to go wherever I liked.
While it was easier to play down the shallow end, where I could put my feet on the ground, every now and again I ventured up the deep end. My friends would do a pin drop to see if they could touch the bottom and then spring up to the surface before they ran out of breath.
One day I was determined to join in this game. I had never been able to touch the bottom of the deep end before, but today was my day.
I stood on the edge of the pool looking down. There were lots of people around so I had to time my launch off the end perfectly so I didn’t land on anyone else.
Finally a spot cleared before me and I grasped my opportunity. I thrust myself into the air then went as straight as an arrow, as I had seen the older kids do.
As soon as my head submerged below the surface the sounds of splashing and children playing became muffled. It was just me and the bottom of the pool now.
I went down as far as my body weight would take me but it wasn’t quite to the bottom of the pool. So I started pushing myself down further with my arms so I could touch the bottom.
Finally my big toe reached the concrete bottom, however, I had no time to celebrate. I had used up so much time and energy to reach the bottom that I was out of breath.
As my toe had only just grazed the floor of the pool I had no launching pad to push myself back to the surface. So I had to swim all the way back up.
My lungs were burning and I was starting to get frantic as I looked up and saw how far the surface was. Fresh air seemed so far away and I didn’t know how much longer I could hold my breath.
This is it, I thought. I’m going to die in the deep end of the pool!
With one last burst of energy I kicked my feet and burst through the surface. I was gasping for breath and I just clung to the side of the pool exhausted and relieved I had made it.
Application: Thankfully, I haven’t had many more near death experiences like this one, however, I have felt so overwhelmed by my situation in life that I felt I was going to drown.
There have been times when all the pressures of the world have just seemed so all consuming and I wasn’t sure I would ever reach the surface.
That seems to be the way the Psalmist felt when writing Psalm 69. There were so many opponents on all sides that he wasn’t sure he would make it.
And so he called out to God. It was from his Lord that he drew his strength and hope.
It’s often when I feel that all other help is lost that I cling to God too. When I’ve exhausted all of my abilities I go to the One who always has reserves.
Life can bring so many challenges, we are fortunate we have a God who is always there for us. He sits with us in our pain and surrounds us when we feel alone.
Our trials will come and go, but God will be there for us forever.
Prayer: Lord, there are times when I feel like I’m drowning in responsibility, overwhelmed by decisions and consumed by grief. May I call to You in these times. Revive us and fulfill us, I pray. Amen.
When have you felt overwhelmed?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.