“…our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” –Romans 13:11
Life is rife with discouragement. Every day brings, seems to bring, new problems. Things we could always count on fail. People let us down. Promises are broken. Mistakes are made. Obligations go unfulfilled. Challenges arise and resources run thin. At times, it can all seem so overwhelming that there may be moments when we wonder if we can “keep on keepin’ on”.
When I go through those moments, I try to remember the experience of Florence Chadwick. In 1950, Florence gained a measure of fame by becoming the first woman to swim across the English Channel in both directions. In July 1952, she set wanted to attempt an even greater feat and become the first woman to swim from Catalina Island to the California coast. As fortune would have it, however, conditions on the day she chose to make her run at history turned out to be horrendous. The ocean was cold as ice, there were sharks in the water, and a dense fog had settled over the entire coast. The fog was so thick, in fact, that she could barely see the support boats that were alongside of her. In spite of it all, though, Florence tirelessly swam for hour and hours, bravely trying to complete the 22-mile trip. All the while, people in the boats were cheering her on and telling her she could make it. Eventually, however, the cold and pain got to her. Weary and worn out, she finally gave up. The sad part was that when she quit, Florence was less than a half a mile from land. She was so near to her final destination but because of the fog neither she nor her support crew knew how close she was. She later told reporters, “If only I could have seen the shore, I could have made it.”
That’s sort of the way life is sometimes, isn’t it? When we’re going through tough times, the fog rolls in and we lose sight of what lies ahead. We get so caught up in our immediate circumstances, that we can’t see anything beyond them. And as a result, we may feel like just giving up.
But as believers, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter is alongside us in the fog. The Holy Spirit can see through the fog. The Spirit can see the shore and how close it is. And he cheers for us and urges us on. When we’re in the tough times, the Spirit reminds us of us what lies ahead. He says to us, “Don’t give up! Not here! Not now!” You can’t see it, but you’re not far from shore. Just up ahead, there’s something that’s so glorious, so amazing, that in comparison, this fog and these icy waters are next to nothing. Keep on going! Because the pain you now feel is only temporary. But the glory that lies ahead is forever!”
Paul puts it this way, “Therefore we do not lose heart. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Life can be very discouraging. But no matter what the challenges, I hope you will be able to keep the eyes of your heart focused on the eternal destination you are heading towards. Though you may not be able to see it yet, that other shore is just ahead. Don’t give up! Keep swimming!

You can make it!

Pastor Michael

Be sure to check out this article in our full newsletter from December 2020 - Click Here!