Grace for the Pace

Depend on God for Strength

When I was a freshman in high school, I had P.E. class first hour (which was 7:30 A.M.)! My class had over one thousand students, so a large percentage of us joined students from the other grades for first hour P.E. each morning.

We were allowed to choose the sports in which we wanted to participate; however, the seniors had first choice, juniors-second choice, sophomores-third choice, and you guessed it, the freshmen had last choice!

Since our class was so large, most sports available to freshmen were those that would accommodate a lot of players. Sports such as football and soccer were a common selection.

My friend Diane and I did not like the large crowds, nor did we care for football or soccer. So, as we talked, we thought a good alternative would be the synchronized swimming class. The only thing we knew about it was that it was a small class—about twelve girls. Since we were required to shower at the end of the first hour class, we thought, “Why not go ahead and get wet anyway!”

On the first day, Diane and I quickly realized that we were the only two who did not know what we were doing. While the other ten students glided effortlessly across the water, we struggled to just stay afloat! We paddled harder than anyone else. Our arms and legs flailed everywhere, as we tried to keep from drowning. When class was over the other ten girls walked out of the gym refreshed and ready to go. Diane and I were so exhausted; we hardly had enough energy to walk to our next class!

Many of us live our lives like inexperienced swimmers, expending energy in attempts to merely stay afloat. We “thrash” our way from one circumstance to another, never seeming to have the energy to do the really important things in our lives.

This fall season is my favorite season of the year! But it does tend to get incredibly busy, doesn’t it? With school field trips, church activities, outreach events, family activities, and conferences combined with our normal routines, we can quickly default into “survival mode”—working harder in our own strength, rather than relying on Jesus for the power and grace we need to stay afloat.

Hebrews 4:16 encourages us: “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

If you feel like you’re drowning beneath a flood of activities and responsibilities, don’t try to survive this season on your own! Boldly ask God for the strength and grace you need to accomplish His will. Let Him synchronize your schedule and arrange your divine appointments, so that you look back on this season with a full heart rather than a depleted spirit.

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