When I was growing up, we lived about 20 minutes from Lake Huron, one of the Great Lakes with sand beaches and beautiful water. We lived on a farm where life was always busy and my dad disliked water, so we only went to the lake maybe once each summer. As a result, I wasn’t really comfortable once the water level got past my waist or maybe chest height when I was feeling especially adventurous. One day when I was at the lake with some friends, they were determined to teach me at least to float. I practiced for quite some time but only in water where I could put my hand down and touch the bottom just before my air ran out and panic set in. I progressed to the depth that I could put my feet down and save myself before I ran out of air. This was a huge improvement, and I was feeling pretty good about myself.

Soon after that a dam was built on a large creek not far from our farm with a man-made lake behind the dam and part of the muddy bottom was covered with sand to make a beach. We decided to have our Gr 8 graduation party at the lake. As dusk settled in, it was time to start a fire on the beach and roast hotdogs. I was feeling adventurous, and just before heading in I decided to go up to my chin just to prove I could. I floated briefly and then put my feet down to push off from the bottom but I had floated past the end of the sand bar. As I started to sink below the water, I felt panic well up within me. I couldn’t touch the bottom. I couldn’t get my head above water. During that moment, I was convinced I was going to drown! As I was taking water into my lungs, I remembered that I could float, and so I held my breath, and floated to the top where I was seen by my friends, who immediately hauled me in. I will never forget that moment of panic, that feeling that my life would end at my grade 8 graduation.

I think many times in my walk with God I have times when I’m feeling very confident in my own abilities, and even brave and adventurous like I was that night at the lake. I don’t spend the time studying God’s word or praying as I should about things happening in my life. I think I am in control and doing a really good job of it. It is in those moments that I should be more diligent in practicing the discipline of learning to trust God, leaving things in His hands, and knowing that He wants what’s best for me even when I don’t see it, even when I don’t understand it.

Many times, when I am faced with fears, I have to take them to God and trust him to work things out. When my children or husband are traveling, sometimes to different countries and I have no control over what is happening around them I border on the feeling of panic, but I’ve learned to trust that God loves them more than I do. When I was given a diagnosis of cancer several years ago, and in the midst of that discovered I had heart disease as well I had that panic feeling. I found myself turning to God, and His word the Bible, where I found comfort and peace, knowing that He is in control. As a Humboldt Bronco billet mom sitting in a hospital with so many hurting and grieving people, I had that feeling of panic. I had to rely on God because there were no other answers.

Proverbs 2:1-5 says, “If you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.”

When I learned and practiced floating it became instinctual to hold my breath and rise above the deep water. I also need to spend time daily reading my Bible and praying so that relying on God becomes second nature, that my immediate response to trying times is to turn to God and trust in Him. If you haven’t taken the time to explore all that God has to offer you. I encourage you to do it when times are good so that you have that anchor of hope when things go wrong.

Nancy Jefferson

lake huron
park hill beach