“I can’t swim!” were the words offered in a barely audible whisper.
My son’s closest friends had gathered for his birthday party at the lake, and the excitement built as they each donned a life jacket.
It soon became a contest to determine who was going to jump in the water first. As I watched from afar, with camera in hand to catch the action, I noticed one young gal hanging back.
She whispered repeatedly, “I can’t swim. I don’t know how!”
I came alongside and gently assured her, “It’s okay. You’re wearing a life jacket—it’ll keep you above the water. You don’t have to know how to swim.”
“Really?” she asked with surprise in her voice.
“Yes! It’s perfectly safe. You can jump in with the rest of them without a worry. Just let the life jacket do the work.”
She looked at her friends in the water already having fun, then looked at me, then glanced back at the water. I knew she wanted to join them but wasn’t sure.
Still hesitant with fear, I gently coached her. “You can trust it!”
Before long, her desire to be part of the group overtook her fear and she jumped in. As she bobbed to the surface, I yelled, “You did it!! See, it did it’s job!”
I watched the young crowd all afternoon, snapping pictures and laughing at their escapades. As the day began to draw to a close, I counted heads and realized we were missing one. Just then I heard from the water, “I’m swimming! I’m actually swimming!”
Still clad in a life jacket, she was performing the same strokes in the water she had seen her friends do. Sure enough, she was “swimming” and loving every second of it! Her fear had transformed into water-loving confidence!
At the end of the day, as we said goodbye to each of my son’s friends, I said to her, “You’ll have to join us again for another day of swimming!”
“Really? I’d love that!” No longer afraid, she was on board with all things water related.
As I reflected on the day, I wondered how many times fear holds me back.
How often do I want to do something but don’t because I’m afraid. And yet, when I take my eyes off the circumstance that instills fear and look to Him, He gently reminds me, He’s like my life jacket. He will never leave me, and no matter what I face, He will help me and guide me.
1. God will never leave me.
“No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5)
2. God won’t let me go.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
3. God promises to help me.
“For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)
4. If I am afraid or uncertain, God promises to give wisdom.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)
5. If I trust in Him, He will lead and guide me.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.” (Proverbs 3:5-7)
In every situation, God’s word is our life-jacket of safety. He has already given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Our job is to believe it and receive it.
In what area do you need to trust God to hold you up today? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
Because of Him, #HopePrevails!
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: https://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.