Just keep swimming

Photo Credit: Kevin Clark

It’s summer, which at our house means teaching our kids the invaluable lessons of sleeping in, mastering the art of doing nothing outside, and learning how to swim.

If you’ve never had the fun of teaching anyone how to swim, you’re totally missing out.

It looks a bit like a cat clawing it’s way out of a cat carrier.  There’s lots of hissing and sputtering, floundering and clinging to the nearest stable human being.

Truthfully, I feel kinda sorry for ’em.

And not just my own but all of those poor kids learning how to swim this summer.


I can imagine it feels a bit like betrayal.


Think about it, you’re so excited.

You love bath time so this is kinda like a big bath tub right?

At least, that was what your mom said as she pulled into the parking lot at the pool.


You quickly learn after you’ve reached tummy level water that this is nothing like your safe bath tub with your rubber duckie at home.

And worse yet, your sweet Nana is grinning at you with this Jack Nicholson look in her eyes as she picks you up and hauls you off to waters too deep for you to touch the bottom.
You quickly realize that you are no longer in control of your destiny and that your parents and grandparents are really maniacal dictators bent on your destruction.


You panic, you flail, you cry.


Meanwhile, you hear those parents of yours saying things like, “you can do this,”  “you’re doing great,” and for a moment the reminder of their soothing voices causes you retract your claws from your father’s back and relax.

That is until he decides to dunk you into the water to get you used to the sensation of water on your face.


It’s about this point in your childhood when you realize, your parents are trying to kill you.


It’s not so different with God.

He takes us out of our comfortable bathtubs and to the pool of our own thoughts, where we transform from his delightful, fun kids into frantic, terrified fur balls.

And he’s relentless.

He tells you that learning how to swim is not optional in this household.

He’s not in a hurry and there’s no pressure but it’s a skill that could save your life some day and it’s important to learn this.


So together, you and he will keep at this new experience until you get it.


It’s about this time that we become thoroughly convinced that God is out to drown us.


But we’re not quitters who lose out. Oh, no! We’ll stay with it and survive, trusting all the way.

Hebrews 10:39 (The Message)


The key for being in the pool is knowing that you can make it through anything with the One who makes you who you are.

Part of what happens in learning how to swim is not just the external skill set but also the internal confidence that is built.

And to a parent that’s a really big deal.

To God it’s a really big deal that we have confidence in who we are.

But in order to learn how to swim you’ve got to be in water that’s over your head.

And so God picks us up and takes us to the deeper water of our thought life to expose some wrong thinking and it’s there that he corrects the awkward strokes of our thinking.

It’s terrifying, but the good news is – one day we are gonna swim right through once unfamiliar waters and thought patterns that once seemed too deep for us to handle.

Just keep swimming.

3 thoughts on “Just keep swimming

  1. TerrynCrystal Erickson says:

    Dear Joyce,
    You always know what to say to helps me, in my path with Christ Jesus our Lord. I was so ready to give up. To just stop trying. It’s almost summer which for me means the worst time of the year. More dehydration, more ER visits, More of a struggle to be the same person I used to be. But I am not that person, I am this person. And this person needs to just Keep swimming.



    • joyceackermann says:

      Crystal –
      Hang in there. You’re a fighter. I’m sure that it can’t be easy but you are amazing. There’s always been something special about you. Don’t forget that. I’ll be praying for you.


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