The ocean is relatively flat in this sheltered harbor. Gentle swells buoy us up and down as we tread water 50 yards from the shore. We’re more accustomed to clear, flat, chlorinated swimming pools. Swimming in the ocean is a rare treat. Quickly we notice the buoyancy of the salt water is quite different from pool water. With just gentle kicks or quiet sweeps of my hands I keep myself afloat. Before long I discover another surprise. Between the salt water and my additional pounds, I can afloat upright, breathing easily, without kicking or stroking. I cross my legs and place my arms down at my sides. Still upright, my head stays above water. Keeping very still, I find my body gradually tipping; the waves have tipped my balance and I find myself on my back, still afloat. The same thing happens when I face the shore. This time my body gently tips forward, and I now float on my stomach. Being able to stay upright in the water with my head above the water without working to stay afloat amazes me! Very quickly we both adapt to this new buoyancy, enjoying ourselves in the waves, staying above water effortlessly. All we need to do is a few gentle hand strokes or kicks to keep our balance.
If only it were so easy to adjust to God’s buoyancy! After many years and many trials I’ve learned that God keeps me afloat even in the darkest of times. He keeps my head up even in the biggest waves of life. Yet still, how often I vigorously kick and press my hands against the waves, working desperately to keep my head above the water, forgetting that God buoys me up. If only I could learn to relax and allow him to buoy me up and keep my head above the waters that threaten to suffocate me. How often I kick and struggle, wearing myself out instead of giving in and allowing God to take control and buoy me up.
Father God, help me to trust in You and allow Your buoyancy to keep my head above the waves. Buoy me up Lord, buoy me up.