Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
For the first time in a long time, I was genuinely frightened, in fact, I was afraid. One of the things we enjoyed about our getaway at Key Colony is the fact that we can snorkel right there. At each end of the beach, two small jetties have been built. They extend out into the water for about 75 feet and keep the waves from passing boats and storms from creating waves that might take away the sandy shore. Fish like reefs and in a way that is what the jetties are—the underwater nooks and crannies make great places for the small fish to eat and hide.
While only a few of the fish have brilliant colors, there are literally hundreds of them. It is fascinating to watch them as they swim in large spools or dart in and out of the rocks…looking for food and making sure they don’t become lunch themselves. One morning, I was heading out for a swim with my mask to see what I could see. A guy who had been spear fishing earlier said that if I would go out to the point on the west jetty, I would see some large angel fish. So, without much thought, I headed out. Maybe I should have thought.
You see, on the other side of the jetty is a large channel that went to the other side of the island. It is a major thoroughfare for all the fishing boats going in and out so naturally the water was much choppier there. I began to swim out making sure my breathing tube from my face mask stayed above the water. As I swam, I looked for fish but really the water was too murky to see. It was also too murky for me to realize that I couldn’t see the rocks in the jetty either. I lifted my face out of the water and saw that I was being carried by the strong current out into the channel. I was concerned.
I immediately turned around and began to swim back toward the jetty and the relative safety and calm it provided. I had my face in the water and through the murkiness could occasionally see the bottom. What I saw wasn’t good. As I took a stroke forward, I was being carried back more than I was moving forward. I picked up the pace and intensified my efforts and slowly, too slowly, began to make some progress but swimming against the current was very difficult. In a short period of time, I was gasping for breath through my breathing tube and my arms were very tired. The outcome was in the balance.
Well, somehow, someway, I was able to keep going and after several minutes that seemed like several hours, I could feel the protective calm of the jetty as the current let go of me. I was safe. I was tired, and I was exhausted, but thankfully I was safe. When I could finally touch sand, I stood up and saw Judy coming. I quickly waved her off. I knew I didn’t want her to experience what I just did. And not only did I not see the angel fish I felt like I could almost see the angels, “comin’ after me.”
I was amazed how strong that current was that wanted to pull me out into the channel. If it had been obvious from the surface…if I had known, I wouldn’t have gone. My friend who told me about the angel fish didn’t mention the current—either it wasn’t an issue earlier or he had fins that helped him fight the unseen force. Regardless, I was once again grateful that God gave me the strength to overcome. Strength.To.Overcome. There are many things about this whole God thing that make me glad that I am a believer and on that list is the ability to be an overcomer.
My friend Jesus said in His Word, the Bible, that we would have troubles in this world, and He told the truth, times two. But He didn’t stop there. He went on to say that we should “be of good cheer” because He had “overcome the world.” In other words, we can face the storms of life and the currents that threaten to pull us out to sea, because He is there with us and for us. We can be overcomers because He is an overcomer. I like that…a lot.
I will probably remember my encounter at the point of the jetty for a while…and I want to remember. You might ask, “Why?” Well, it was such a good reminder that as I do life, I need to pay attention, I need to be prepared, and I need to trust—not in a pair of flippers or better swimming skills. No, it will remind me that there are dangerous waters in life to navigate and I need to trust in my Heavenly Father, my Dearest Daddy to help me through it all. It’s just good to know that He is there and, no matter what, “He’s got this.” Bro. Dewayne