Fresh Hope – 18th July 2020

Florence Chadwick was a champion swimmer. In 1952 she attempted to swim a span of the peaceful Pacific Ocean between California’s Catalina Island and the state coastline. As she began the twenty-six mile journey , she was accompanied by small boats of supporters who watched for sharks and were prepared to help Florence if she got hurt or grew tired. Thick fog rolled in after about fifteen hours of swimming.

Florence recalled that after already having spent so many hours navigating the waters with her body, she began to doubt her ability. She didn’t think that she could make it, but she kept going. She swam for another hour before asking to be pulled out, physically and emotionally exhausted. She was tired, and in her mind the Californian coastline felt like it was a million miles away.

After she got into the boat, she learned she had stopped less than a mile short of her destination.

She couldn’t see the shoreline and the journey began to feel impossible.

“All I could see was the fog,” she told the news paper reporters the next day. “I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.”

Today, you may be closer to your destination than you realise.

I often tell the story of part of my own journey of faith in order to help people. For 17 years of my life I believed that one day we would be able to build a church that would be fit for the 21st century. Every year I believed it would happen and every year it didn’t! There was never an end in sight, and at times I grew weary and wanted to give up. I knew that God had promised it and He would one day bring it to pass. That’s exactly what He did…but not until we had ‘swum’ for 17 years in order to reach the shore. Each time that I decided to quit, I would regain my strength and composure and start to believe it could happen again. It did!

Your next attempt could well be like Florence’s, who two months later actually made it, because she kept an eye on her destination albeit through another foggy day. When you’re in a struggle, keep your goal in sight. It may be physical, financial, relational or spiritual, and it may feel like that you’re never going to reach the shore of a new day.

You may well ask “if this is my God given destiny, then why am I battling to stay afloat with no sign of the destination?”

Remember: don’t take a life-storm as the absence of God; No one can see clearly in the fog, that’s why we must walk by faith and not simply by what we can see. The storm can make you stronger and give you confidence to handle future challenges.

When you get through battling, you’ll have more wisdom, more tenacity, more strength and more vision to take you forward.

Today, don’t get so distracted by your circumstances that you lose awareness of God’s presence, instead, let this challenge drive you to your knees, where you know you can find help in your time of need.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.

Pastor Mark 

A daily devotion for a better way of living.