Hope

Dave Jones

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."  II Corinthians 4:18

Rodney Cooper recounts Florence Chadwick's attempt to swim from Catalina Island to the California Coast and become the first woman to accomplish that feat.  Besides struggling with fatigue, the 21-mile swim through the cold Pacific saltwater included crossing water currents and shark-infested waters that required occasionally driving the sharks away with rifle fire.  Moreover, this particular morning was foggy and dreary and Florence was unable to see beyond her immediate surroundings.  Florence did not complete her challenge and was pulled from the water one mile away from the California shore.  As Florence described her experience, she said that not being able to see beyond the fog had defeated her.  Blinded by the fog, her goal was obscured and her determination and reasoning had broken down.

Although most of us have not attempted this kind of swim, we often experience other challenges in life that we can relate to Florence's experience.  For example, our culture usually doesn't encourage or teach Christian behavior or reasoning and can obscure our goal to be Christ-like.  Evil and cruel people can discourage us from being kind and loving.  Financial challenges from job loss or unexpected expenses can create seemingly overwhelming circumstances.  However, keeping our goal in focus and recalling the faithfulness of God in previous experiences or the life of others gives us hope and courage as we abide in our Lord.  When we keep our eyes on Jesus, who experienced painful suffering and anguish for our sake, we can endure all things. 

A few months later, Florence completed her swim as she kept her mind and heart focused on the mainland. 

May God bless you as you run your race!

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