When the Water is Deep and Life is Hard

I felt as if I was drowning. One hard thing stacked upon another. Their combined weight threatening to thrust me so deep beneath the surface, I feared I may never reemerge. Would this boundless series of struggles ever dissipate? Days into months; months into years. Would I ever see the sun again?

This sounds dramatic, I know. But isn’t this exactly how we feel at times?

The hard gives way to harder. Disappointment gives way to discouragement. We try so hard to fix things ourselves – to make things right, but our best thought-out efforts work temporarily, at most.

No matter how much we try, we simply can’t lift ourselves out of the water. It’s too deep. The current is too strong. There’s no end in sight. And we are tired. So very tired.

Tired of treading water, of bobbing up and down in search of absent footing.

Tired of floating along helplessly.

Tired of trying to rescue ourselves.

Oftentimes, it’s not until we reach that point of exhaustion, hopelessness, defeat – that overwhelming place of empty – that we finally discover the hope that’s been there all along.

We come to realize, in our striving to handle things on our own, that we have failed to lean on the One capable of our rescue. “Lord, forgive us! Lord, help us!”

I’ve walked this journey in my own life, and do you know what I’ve found to be true?

When we finally surrender to His will — regardless of what it might look like; when we finally stop struggling to save ourselves —

God, in His goodness, reaches down from on high. He takes hold of us. He pulls us out of the deep water. He rescues us from the hard places. He rescues us from ourselves and our own tainted view of how things should be.

Don’t misunderstand me, friend.  The rescue doesn’t occur all at once. It’s often a long, slow process.

We may still have hard situations to maneuver and uncertainties to ride out. Our faith may need more growing. Our trust made need more developing. But, we no longer feel as if we’re sinking beneath the weight of it.

Instead, as we cross those tumultuous waters, we find ourselves tucked safely in the life boat with Jesus. Nestled near Him. Clinging to Him. Soaking in His presence.

As we turn it over to Him, we’re able to rest more fully. We make our way to the other side – not unscathed, not untouched; better for having gone through it.

Friend, where are you in this process? Perhaps even as you read this, you’re kicking frantically to reach the shore. Or, perhaps warning signs are pointing to danger ahead and you’re bracing for impact.

Whatever the case, won’t you pause your toiling? Won’t you humbly seek God’s help? He’s already there. Reaching for you. Eager to be your lifeline. Won’t you let Him?

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he pulled me out of deep water. He rescued me from my powerful enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out to a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me. Psalm 18:16-19


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