I never learned to swim. When I entered Nurses Training, we had swimming as part of our Physical Education. The first day I put my swimsuit on and class began. The instructor separated out the few of us who could not swim. There were 3 of us. She told us to get in the water and we were to hold our breath, put our heads under water and clutch our knees. Just the thought that this was called “Dead Man’s Float” was not encouraging. I told her I would drown. Thus, began a 3 year relationship with her insisting I could do it and me insisting I would drown. I tried everything she told me even jumping into the deep end where I was supposed to swim to the other end. Instead I would bob up and grab the side of the pool. At one point she did persuade me to swim to the other end and since I would not open my eyes when in the water I could not see where I was going. I just knew the room was very quiet. I opened my eyes and found myself in the middle of the pool with everyone watching me and the instructor walking beside the pool with a very long pole. When she realized I knew where I was, she yelled, “Swim, swim, keep going!” Instead I made a beeline for the side of the pool. I had no trust. I did not trust my ability to swim and I did not trust the water to support me. The instructor tried in my second year to tell me that I could not graduate unless I learned to swim. By the end of that year, she gave up and played tennis with me instead, I was also very bad at tennis, but I knew: rarely does anyone drown playing tennis. The instructor finally decided I was just too thin to swim. Her theory was that I did not have enough body fat for buoyancy. I knew it was that I just did not trust the water. I love pools but give me the shallow end. I do have trust in other areas of my life. I trust my family, my faith, and my God and if God ever told me to swim I probably would, but could I walk on water?
Matthew 14:25-31 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord save me” immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
Lord, hold us up when we doubt. Be with those who are ill, those who are going through times that are frightening, those that grieve, give them strength and may they feel your love holding them up. Be with our church, may we be the hands and feet of Christ. Be with our Pastor, bless his ministry, and be with his family, uphold them with your love and strength. Be with our staff and leaders, may they feel your presence in their lives and in their journey. Thank you, Lord for all our blessings, for the food we eat and the shelter you provide and the love and strength of our families and friends. Amen.