C.S. Lewis once said, “Remember that the ‘bottomless sea’ can’t hurt us as long as we keep on swimming.” That’s important to remember when we are going through dark times in our life. Jesus never promised a life spent pursuing Him would be easy. In fact, He told us it would be anything but easy (John 15:18-20, John 16:33, 1 Peter 5:10, James 1:2-3).
Still, it is easy to question where God is in the midst of our struggle. We feel as if we’re drowning and see no way to get back to the surface. I can think of no better advice than what Lewis gave: just keep swimming! God is always closer than you think. He’s right beside you, reaching out His hand (Matthew 14:27-31).
Just like Peter walking on the water in the midst of a violent storm (Matthew 14:22-33), you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish if you will only keep your eyes on Jesus. Our problems intensify and become frighteningly real when we look away from Him. Let’s face it, most of our problems and trials can be traced back to a moment we chose to look away from Jesus and focus on something or someone else. That someone else is usually our self. I am convinced selfishness is the primary source of the vast majority of our perceived problems in life.
But once you are in the midst of the storm sinking ever further, how do you get out of it? Doing nothing will only quicken your descent. You can’t go back because where you started is too far away. Your only option is to keep swimming. Get your eyes off the ocean and onto Jesus. He’s the only One who commands the sea and the only One who offers a true solution to your problems. It’s always darkest before the dawn, and it’s always deepest before you reach for the hand of Jesus. Redemption is near; we simply must reach for it, hold on, and persevere.
I know what it is to feel like you’re drowning. I’ve experienced the depths of despair. You can get so lost that in some ways you don’t even want to look to Jesus. That’s when the attacks of the enemy are the strongest. Satan knows if you look to Jesus you will begin to rise and he will do anything to keep you down. A defeated Christian can do no harm to the kingdom of darkness.
We are not defeated. We are never so far away from God that He is not beside us. When we feel as if the ocean is endless, too deep, and the waves are too strong, know that focusing your eyes on Jesus will calm the storm and light up the night. Things will not always go your way, but if you stay focused on Jesus you will not be overwhelmed. He has all the strength you need if you will trust Him and not rely on your own strength. That’s what got you in this mess in the first place. The bottomless sea is an illusion, a device of Satan meant to frighten, confuse, and devastate you. Don’t be fooled. Keep swimming. Reach for the hand of Jesus and walk confidently through the storm.