“And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19
Swimming was a long cherished dream for me and more rightly so after I had quite a frightening almost drowning experience in mid-sea water in 2013. Thanks to God for keeping me alive and giving me the courage to join a class nearby for a 12 days crash course on swimming. The frightening incident aggravated my fear for water and it took me 3 days to even learn to float. But, my trainer said three things which really helped me throughout the course. Upon reflecting on that, I believe that all the following 3 points might apply to our personal relationship with Christ and also help us to finish our course as well.
1) The water will support whoever stays calm and relaxes his body
How often do we panic in foreign conditions, (like being in a pool of water not knowing how to swim), and forget that God is still in control. Are we resting in God’s presence and drawing strength from Him daily through His word or do we fear drowning in the troubles that engulf us? The Bible asks all of us to exchange our burdens with Him and accept His rest (Matthew 11:28-29). All that we have to do is to – “Cast all our anxieties on him, because he cares for us” (1 Peter 5:7).
2) Merge and become as one with water
The second lesson I learnt from my trainer was to “merge with water” in order to overcome fears. The water here can be compared to Our Lord Jesus Christ who says in John 15:4 – “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” It is absolutely necessary that we abide and become one with Him for we cannot do anything on our own and all our efforts to keep our head above water without resting in Him will eventually drown us.
3) Relax yourself and enjoy swimming
The third lesson I learnt was to “enjoy” what I do. This made me ponder if we really enjoy keeping the company of God, who is the source of all joy and peace that surpasseth understanding? I believe, only by resting and letting go off things that choke us – “The cares of the World” (Mark 4:19), would enable us to come daily to Him and enjoy His presence. We see in Exodus 33:11 that Joshua did not leave the tent though God stopped speaking and even after Moses left the tent. Here is a man who enjoyed the presence of the Lord. This perhaps made it very easy for God to choose someone to succeed Moses and lead His people to the land of Canaan.
As we begin this month, would we rest in God, abide in Him, enjoy His presence and allow God to use us just as He used Joshua? So all ye ready O fishers of Men? (Matthew 4:19). Remember to “Rest in, Become One with and Enjoy” Him. Let us swim out to Him!