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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

A Risky Underwater Challenge

I once spent a week exploring the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. The seaside ruins of Tulum, an ancient Mayan city, stand atop a cliff that juts out into the ocean. A local guide told me it was possible to swim under the cliffs from one side and come out the other. To accomplish the feat, I swam along underwater passageways in the direction of the opposite side. The sun provided light reflecting against the sandy ocean floor.

Along the way, breathing was made possible by swimming up against the rocky ceiling wherever an air bubble could be found and inhaling the air. The bubbles form when tidal action washes aerated water under the cliffs. Micro bubbles in the surge concentrate into one large bubble until they resemble big glass dinner plates clinging to the submerged rock ceiling. They were plentiful at first, along with good visibility.

As I swam further under the cliffs, the light grew dim and the bubbles scarce. There soon came a point where I could not see the next bubble from the position of the current one. At one stretch these air pockets were so few and far between, I wondered whether my lungs held enough oxygen to return to the previous pocket if I could not locate the next one. My initial objective of reaching the other side had suddenly morphed into the shorter-term goal of just finding another bubble. Continuing along the course required faith that there would indeed be another one.

Choosing to swim the bubble route was my own questionable decision, but when it comes to traveling the road of life, we are not asked our preference. It is a journey we all must experience.

The bubbles in our lives are times of safety and security, periods of calm and clarity where we recognize God is in control. We pray those times would last. But in the same manner in which the bubble air is used up and forces us to move on, circumstances in life come about to move us out of our comfort zone and propel us along life’s way.

God bless you if your bubbles are abundant, but expect to encounter stretches of turmoil and turbidity, maybe even times of endangerment and exposure in which life’s trials can appear overwhelming. For some, these intervals seem to have no end in sight, but the constant to remember is that through every adversity, God cares and is still in control. He already knows the troubles we will go through and He supplies us the means to endure them:

”These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NKJV)

Peace in the midst of trouble -- this is Jesus’ promise to us. Our part is to have the faith to continue, knowing our God hands us the final victory. An important addition to this promise is found in the 6th Chapter of Matthew:

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:31-34 NKJV)

If we partner with God, He will provide. We find both peace and provision from the God who promises never to leave us or forsake us -- especially when the going gets tough.

When life happens, you may ask “why?” But if you persevere in faith, God is faithful to see you through. Whatever season of life you are in or problem that is overwhelming you, it is vital to know that God hasn’t abandoned you. The God who loves you and keeps you will always provide a next bubble, the best one being on that day when you swim out into His glorious Sonlight on the other side.

Copyright © Joe Chmiel June 2021, used with permission.

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