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  • Writer's pictureBeth Hildebrand

Get Up, GO, Deliver, Shine | Part 3


My arms  feel like limp noodle as I type this.

I just did something I haven’t done in several years.  Too many years.  I swam laps.

How many summers have I spent at the neighborhood pool with my kids?  I think 6 years and I’ve gotten in the water maybe 10 times. Before that, I was at the gym and didn’t use the pool.

Goes to show you I don’t like it.

I’ve been walking for exercise for several years but have recently gotten Plantar fasciitis and decided to try swimming again.  I decided that a couple of months ago.  I dragged my feet slowly to get there and alas arrived today.  I didn’t want to go.  I don’t like to get wet.  I don’t like to get in a bathing suit.  I feel uncomfortable just thinking about it.

But I grew up swimming on the neighborhood swim team and those were some of my best childhood memories. It may have been because my friends were on the team and was really a more social time like going to a movie so we’d “rest” the afternoon of a meet and go out for pizza with the team after the meet was over.  Those were always perks.  These days, our kids have been on the summer team and I’ve been at the starting block with a timer in my hand, flip flops on my feet or cheering from the side.

“Go! Go! Go!,”  every time our son and daughter turns their heads to take a breath, hoping their ear that kind of come out of the water will hear us cheering them on.

Today, I find my feet standing at the edge of the pool.  For years it’s been so much easier to give in to comfort instead of showing up at the water’s edge to jump in.

All of that goes through my mind before I ease my way in.  Thank goodness there was only 2 other people in the pool and I got a lane to myself.  I would’ve turned right around the gone home if there wasn’t one.

Once I was in, out of the blue, I noticed many things in the depths of the 12 foot deep, indoor pool.


I guess like riding a bike, my arms, legs and breathing immediately had to become a rhythm.  I was also reminded how God’s Spirit can swim along beside me.  The first few laps I swam, I noticed myself thinking, “How many more breaths will it take to get to the end of this lap?  How many more laps do I have to go?”  (Ever ask yourself those questions…but not in a pool?)

As I was looking down while swimming, the thick, dark line on the bottom of the pool caught my attention.  Maybe because it was the only blatant thing to see under the water.  At first I noticed how much shorter it became the closer I got to the end of the lane.   After a short distance though, my attention was hooked on a new vision of how the lines underneath and on the side wall became: a dark, long shape of the Cross.



That’s when on rare occasion, I began to listen to Him in the rhythm of waves as I swam those 40 laps.

Keep taking a step of faith into the water, even if you know it’ll make you feel uncomfortable.  You need to feel uncomfortable.  You’ve been complacent more often than not.    

As I’m smacked in the face – by bubbles –  I think of the hard times in my life which really aren’t hard when I think of other people I know or their stories I’ve heard, here and around the world, who have suffered much greater things than me.   Broken homes, human trafficking, diseases, poverty, abuse, refugees, people fleeing for their lives.

And what about Jesus who felt immeasurably more than uncomfortable on the Cross.  The One who dripped blood instead of drops of water.

Every time I looked ahead underwater, I saw a black cross.  The more I swam, the harder it was to breathe.  Stroke, stroke, stroke, breathe. Over and over.  I became thirsty even though I was surrounded by water.  I still thirst for more of Him even while He surrounds me.

I know women in our community, whom I can call friends, go beyond uncomfortable to serve God.  She’s brave and bold.  Courage flows out of her. Her faith and prayers for physical healing are answered.  She prays over a women who need to forgive someone, and reconciliation happens. She waits many long months until their family is united.  She fights chronic pain with grace.  She forms relationships with women who were just rescued from slavery.  Single mom is supermom who puts God first in her life.   I know they did all of those things this past month.

Do they ever ask these questions? “How many more breaths will it take to get to the end of this lane?  How many more laps do I have to go?” I’m sure they do.  But they are women I respect.  They are women who took a step of faith – or leap.  They are women who proclaim God is real and He is the One who gives them the heart and strength to do those hard things.

I’m thanking God for our conversation in the pool today.  It had been a long time.  And that in itself can be a motivating  reason to want to keep at it and not give up.

Praying this prayer from Ann Voskamp‘s #IFPray703.  Will you join me?

Lord, nobody knows how hard we’re trying to be brave, to show up when it’d be easier to give up, to go do hard and holy things when it’d be easier to go do happy things, to not quit when we don’t know how to keep going on.

Make us strong and courageous, God, to hunger for lives of hidden service in the battle, not for public medals out of the battle.  Make us daily pray for character greater than our calling and for a humility greater than our work.

We will be strong and courageous and we will not be afraid; we will not be discouraged, for You are the Lord our God and You will be with us where we go; so we take the next step which may feel like a leap of faith but our best mode of transportation through anything is always a leap of faith.

We will never see the miracle of God until we take the next step up the mountain.   Even the smallest of faith in a great God is the greatest equalizer, the greatest eraser, and the greatest definer.

Make us strong and courageous to do that one next step that seems impossible – because that’s who we are: The Imposs-ABLES.

Jesus, we want to be strong.  We lift our arms and hands to you.  Even though my arms are limp, it’s worth it.  I want to Go! Go! Go! as You lead me while You cheer me on right by my side.

{To read the other posts from this series feel free to find them here}

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