Recently, our daughter Isa took her first Alameda Pool Association swim test—four tests back-to-back—she was determined to pass, and the cold morning did not deter her from giving it her best. The first test: Dive into the deep end, swim up, back float for 20 seconds and then torpedo to the nearest wall. Isa did it but swam to the farthest wall because she wanted to show me that she could make it. I can’t even begin to tell you how proud I was of her!
The second test: Back torpedo the width of the pool. What was Isa’s response? “Yup, I can do that.” In a matter of seconds, she completed the second hurdle. The third test, however, proved to be most difficult for my little lioness: Torpedo the width of the pool without taking a breath. Isa gave it her best. Each time she got closer but did not make it. Three attempts. After the third one we asked her if she wanted to stop and try it gain another day. She refused. She held on to the wall and just kept staring to the other side. Then something incredible happened. Her coach Christine walks over to Isa and asked her if it would help her if she got in the water with her. Isa lit up and agreed.
So, what makes this incredible? Well, Christine would always get in the water with Isa when she struggled learning something new. Isa instantly felt safe and at the same time empowered because her coach would never let anything bad happen to her. No matter how challenging the task on hand was, with Christine by her side, Isa was always able to conquer it.
Christine got in the water and swam to the opposite side of where Isa was and called to her. Isa put on her goggles, took a deep breath and launched herself off the wall. She gave it her all and made it to the other side with ease. Her coach being in the water with her made all the difference; it gave her the extra boost in confidence and encouraged her. Afterwards Isa said something interesting; she said it was easy that time because she was able to see Christine getting closer and closer to her. This reinforced in her that she had what it took to make it to the other side.
In the book of Isaiah, we get a glimpse of what is to come for us. It speaks of the birth of Jesus and that He is to be called Immanuel, which means God is with us (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23). The God who spoke everything into existence is with you. He is not hidden from you or distant. He is a God that longs to dwell with you.
17 The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
- Zephaniah 3:17
As you journey through life, journey through it knowing that God is with you. He goes before you, walks beside you, and dwells within you. He is a mighty warrior that fights for you and will save you from any situation you find yourself in. He takes great delight in you and His love covers the multitude of sin (1 Peter 4:8). How amazing is it to know that He rejoices over you with singing? This is why it is written: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Walking with His favor over your life and knowing that He will guide you and keep you, will boost your faith and empower you to conquer every mountain, take down every giant, and overcome every obstacle that the enemy tries to throw at you.
Experience, age, gender, and a list of other things the world judges you by, do not matter. Isa was the youngest girl taking the swimming test. In her class she is not only the youngest but also the smallest. Yet, she is just as strong and skilled as those bigger and older than her. Her fourth and final test: Tread water for 5 minutes. She did the whole 5 minutes with a smile on her face, becoming the youngest child to receive a fish. She was not intimidated, she was determined. Is this why Jesus tells you that you need to change and become like a little child to enter heaven? (Matthew 18:30).
A child has unwavering faith, believes, and trusts God. A child takes God at His word and does not lose faith when things are difficult. You need to change and become just like the child Jesus speaks of. You need to see Jesus in every aspect of your life, in every situation. You need to see Jesus at the end of the finish line and give it your all. You need to take Jesus at His word that He is with you and that He has an abundant life for you, fully empowered by the Holy Spirit.
27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
- John 10:27-29
31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Romans 8:31-39
I am comforted that nothing and no one can ever separate me from the love of Christ. I am empowered by Your presence with me and know that nothing and no one can come against me and triumph. Jesus, You are my good shepherd and I hear Your voice. Speak over my life and call me to Your side. Comfort me and strengthen me with Your joy. Holy Spirit, restore my faith, may it changed to be unwavering like a child’s. AMEN
Your servant in Christ,