A couple of years ago, I attempted to scuba dive. The instructor (who was very impatient to start with), gave me a couple of weight belts to strap on. I still was unable to get more than a foot below the water, and the guy gave up on me, ordering me back up to the boat. My husband was able to go on, and he really enjoyed the lovely views of the world beneath the waves.
A day or so later, we went swimming. David was going to "help" me get below the water, and wrapped his arms and legs around me in an attempt to show me how "easy" it was to submerge.
Instead -- we both bobbed like a cork, on top of the water. My bouyancy kept us BOTH afloat, just drifting along on the surface of the sea.
Most of the time, I am bouyant spiritually as well. Since I surrendered to Christ, I know that He is in control, and by keeping my eyes on Him, my outlook is upbeat. My husband -- nicknamed the Eternal Optimist -- is much the same way. He's the most cheerful guy I know -- looking for the good in people, looking for the good in ALL situations.
Our "match" has been beneficial for both of us. When life's thrown a curveball at one of us, the other one of us has usually been able to float us both up to the surface by encouraging and reminding each other of God's love . We have a blessed partnership, and know we are both "answered prayers" for the other. We both have a heart for Africa; we both appreciate optimism; we have many similar likes/dislikes. We met each other later in life (in our mid- to late-40's) and our own "history and baggage."
But when you KNOW it's right, and you KNOW God has brought you together, "history and baggage" is just that -- past and gone. I am not the person I was 10 or 20 years ago; neither is he and I dare say that neither are any of you who may read this blog.
Working with our ministry has brought us such a great joy. Seeing people being able to drink pure, clean water as a result of the work we've done makes my heart flutter because I know it is what God wants us to do. Seeing kids who have to scrounge for food in a dump (because that's where they live) become able to go to school, able to have a real meal each day -- it's an indescribable feeling to know that you're helping the coming generation.
There is always a struggle between good and evil; spiritual battles are waged in areas that we mortal humans know nothing about. Just becoming a follower of Jesus Christ does NOT make everything peach-keen and rosy; in fact it often has the opposite effect.
I recall Reverend James -- my pastor and spiritual mentor in Ghana -- telling me once that life is like a huge highway with all the cars speeding down the road. When one becomes a follower of Christ they TURN AROUND, going in a different direction from the rest of the world. That turning around, though, gives greater potential for head-on collisions, because you are going in the way of TRUTH -- as opposed to the way of the world.
Back to bobbing like a cork ---
Within the past few days, we've both had some issues to arise that caused us to feel dragged to the bottom. We've felt bombarded by attacks from satan, sucking us both into an ocean of hurt and despair. We've slogged through what seemed like endless days and each step felt as though we were dragging in quicksand.
And yet, we realize that our lives are in the hands of Christ. We ARE working in ministry, doing the things we believe God intends us to do. We try our hardest; we share our faith; we share the transformations that have taken place in our lives as a result of turning around and living for Jesus. We've received encouragement in the form of prayers and scriptures from friends. And we've found that we've been bobbing back to the surface. Only this time, we're wrapped around our faith in Jesus to bring us back into peace and tranquility.
Life gets hard sometimes; slings and arrows can hit us from all directions. Our protection comes from the Helmet of Salvation, the Shield of Faith, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the Belt of Truth, the Sword of the Spirit, and our feet planted firmly in the Gospel of Peace.
Funny to think that all that "armor" can float us back to the top, and it can hold us up -- but it DOES!! We're still standing, we're still smiling, and we're still believing that ALL THINGS (the good AND the bad) -- ALL THINGS work together for GOOD for those who love the Lord and have been called according to His purpose.
So the "cork" that brings us floating back into the Light is Jesus, reminding us in many ways that God is in control; that even in the worst situations God can and will create something good.
(That's our Silver Lining. It's the BEST "silver lining" there is.)
We praise Him in the good times, we praise him in the not-so-good times.
We praise Him when we're floating in calm seas; we praise Him we we're being sucked beneath a tidal wave.
We praise Him when our hearts are singing, we praise Him through tears and heaving sobs.
We praise Him for deliverance; we praise Him for pain because that is what helps us grow.
We praise Him for all gifts, and we will praise Him with our last breath on this earth.
We praise Him, we wrap ourselves around Him and hold on for dear life as we bob like a cork through sometimes heavy seas.