Any lifeguard will tell you the worst thing someone that the lifeguard is trying to save can do is to “help.” A drowning person in a panicked attempt to “save” themselves by thrashing about can end up taking the lifeguard down with them. It’s a lesson all of us need to learn no matter how good we are at swimming in spiritual waters.
Many people ask: “What is my purpose here on earth?” They go through various exercises and workshops to find out what their purpose is. I will save you some time and money if you, too, are asking this age-old question.
You have one purpose here on earth, and it can be summed up in two words: to learn.
You were sent here to learn—to learn about yourself—your capabilities, your liabilities, your strengths, your weaknesses, your abilities, and your limitations. You were also sent here to learn about and how to deal with others—those who are easy to love and those for whom God’s mercy will have to be super-abundant for their forgiveness to be obtained.
Nonetheless, you were mostly sent here to learn about God and His unending, unfathomable, unstoppable, overwhelming, unbelievable love for you.
One of the biggest lessons and one of the hardest to take and accept is what has been called a disruptive moment. These are the times in your life when you have been easily walking next to the water when suddenly something pushes you in to the deep end.
This something might be someone. It might be an event or an illness or death or a sudden change that blows gaping holes in your belief that all is right with your world.
Suddenly you are buffeted—slapped on every side with wave after wave of despair, doubt, anger, hopelessness, helplessness, grief, anxiety, and fear so strong it pulls you under like a rip tide.
I believe what we are sent here to learn is that it is precisely in these times of trial and fear that we learn the real depth of God. It is in these moments that the Almighty Lifeguard takes hold of us, rather than us holding onto Him.
The problem here is that many of us continue to struggle. We continue to try to save ourselves even as the waves wash over us time and again. What God says to us at these moments is exactly what the lifeguard would say to the drowning person. “Relax. Let Me do it. Do not rely on your strength, trust in Mine.”
Your purpose here is primarily to learn that one lesson as deeply as possible. When the storms blow, quit struggling. Trust the Lifeguard.
He has the strength you need. Relax, and let Him work in your life, and you will surely see wonders come from the moments you thought you were destined to drown. By your own effort, you would have. In His strength, however, you will be brought out of the waters of chaos and confusion into a new life you can only know when you have felt both the rip tide and His marvelous, sustaining strength.
In your weakness, His strength can be made manifest. Trust it for it will save you—especially when you feel you are drowning.
Copyright Staci Stallings 2006
Staci Stallings, the author of this article, is a #1 Best Selling author and the co-founder CrossReads.com a new website that gives Christian readers and authors a place to meet and fellowship. With a newsletter, a blog, a forum, and other exciting, inspiring areas to visit, CrossReads visitors can find fabulous Christian books they never knew existed.
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