Deep Waters

Punxsutawney Area School District swimming pool (where I have water aerobics twice a week and where I learned to swim)

 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. —Isaiah 43:2 NIV

The first couple of times I jumped off the low diving board at the local swimming pool, I landed on the sloped side near the ladder, so I didn’t think it was a problem that I couldn’t swim.

A teenage girl wants to do the things her friends are doing, right? And I was tired of playing it safe in the shallow water while everyone else was having a blast in the deep end of the pool. Back then I didn’t even know how to tread water. The only thing I knew how to do was the dead man’s float.

“How hard could it be?” I thought as I watched the others splashing off the diving board that long ago summer day. All I had to do was hop off the side so I landed on the slope near the ladder. So I swallowed my trepidation and took my place in line.

My strategy worked twice. The third time, however, I plunged into waters above my head.

I don’t remember how many times I bobbed to the surface, panicked and thrashing, my short life passing before my closed eyes. Then strong arms pulled me to safety. As I sat on the concrete beside the crowded pool, gasping and trembling, a lifelong fear was born.

For five decades, deep water terrified me. My kids all learned to swim, no thanks to me. When we went swimming, I stayed in the shallow water. When we went boating, I made sure I had a life vest strapped on tight.

Then my son bought an above-ground pool. Hot summer days found me cooling off in sun-warmed water that only came up to my neck. I learned to tread water and to propel myself beneath the surface. I practiced floating and splashed from one side of the pool to the other. As long as I could touch bottom (and my head was above the water), I was fine.

One long, cold winter, much like this one, I bought a pass for the indoor pool at the local middle school and began swimming lessons. I gave myself a couple of months to swim from one end of the pool to the other.

But I met that goal at the end of my second lesson, swimming on my back, my instructor beside me every stroke of the way.

“You’re doing fine,” she’d say. “Just a little farther.”

And so I kept going—swimming in twelve feet of water—something I didn’t think I’d do for a long time. But I couldn’t have done it without my instructor there beside me, encouraging me, giving me confidence with her presence.

It’s the same way with my swim through life.

When I must navigate deep waters, I’m not alone. My Instructor is beside me, encouraging me, ready to pull me out should I go under. His presence gives me the confidence I need to push on, just a little farther, stroke by stroke, until I finally reach the other side.

 Thank you, Father God, that You never leave me or forsake me—even when I get in over my head. Amen.

 Read and reflect on Isaiah 43:1–7.

From God, Me & a Cup of Tea: 101 devotional readings to savor during your time with God © 2017 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

Awesome God!

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. –Philippians 4:19 NKJV

 The Lord sure workethed my patience on this one.

In the spring I noticed it was getting harder and harder to see clearly. The problem was cataracts. Simple to fix. Just have them surgically removed.

Getting the surgery scheduled, however, wasn’t so simple. It wasn’t until mid-October that both eyes were finally done, ending five months of having poor DH drive me everywhere I needed to go. So I thought.

After the surgeries, my vision was brighter, clearer – but still out of focus. The doctor wanted to wait until my eyes were healed up before prescribing new eyeglasses. DH would have to be my chauffeur for another six weeks.

So last Monday, at long last, I went to get my eyes measured for new glasses. Clear vision was just around the corner.

But a funny thing happened before my appointment.

Now, this past summer I began a decluttering project to reorganize my study. Boxes and bins of stuff that need to be sorted through still wait in the dining room.

Sunday afternoon I decided to rid the dining room of one large bin and put the books back on the bookcase shelves. However, not all of them would make the cut. So I asked DH to please bring me an empty bin. I knew there was at least one downstairs.

But instead of an empty one, he brought me one filled with documents, files, check registers, and duplicate checks dating back four to five years. So instead of putting books back on the shelves, I began shredding.

Among the outdated papers, I found an eyeglass case. I have several of those around, mostly empty because you never know when you might need a nice, sturdy case. I was about to drop it in the garbage but put it on my desk instead.

The next morning I got up early to work on my novel before my eye doctor appointment. I spied the eyeglass case on my desk and opened it. It wasn’t empty. It contained a pair of glasses I’d worn at least 10 years ago.

“I’ll take these to the eye doctor,” I thought, “and donate them to his collection of used eyeglasses for Third World countries.”

On a whim, I put them on.

Glory be! I could see! Clearly! Everything was in focus!

I wore them to town, loving every second of seeing clearly what I hadn’t been able to see for months, and had the eye doctor determine the lenses’ strength. When he tested my eyes for my new prescription, he noted the measurements were close to what the old lenses were.

“Do I even need new glasses?” I asked him. “Or can I use these old ones?”

I mean, they don’t look retro or anything, wire frames and all.

“It’s up to you,” he answered.

Well, I’ve been praising the Lord ever since. I mean, He saved me hundreds of dollars.

I imagine God must be chuckling up there.

You see, just the day before I preached a sermon in which I challenged my little flock to trust God for all their needs.

“God has never let me down,” I told them.

But never did I dream He’d provide my new glasses with old ones that I almost discarded.

Only God.

What do you need to trust Him for today?

Dear God, you are just awesome! Thank You for the wonderful surprises You bless me with every day. Amen.

 Read and meditate on Matthew 6:25–33 

© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.