This woman, Kristin Roe, started out with a delay (due to weather) in her journey. After finally getting started, the conditions were more favourable the majority of the way. However, once she got closer to her destination the tide began to work against her, causing her to veer somewhat off her course. She was also complaining of a swollen tongue and felt sick from the waves (this I heard on the news this afternoon) toward then end of her journey. View the story here: http://nb.cbc.ca/regional/servlet/View?filename=nb-swim20050728
As I was reading the story at the above link, it made me think of our walk with Jesus Christ. We need to persevere, or endure, in our walk as it says in Hebrews 12:1-2 "...let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus...". Our walk is not one that we can give up on when the going gets tough. Like the swimmer who fixed her sights on the distant shore to reach her goal, we need to fix our sight on Jesus. Then and only then can we overcome the obstacles that appear along our path. We also read in Hebrews 10:36 "For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised." In order to receive our rewards, we can not give up! Jesus is our example, and not once does He give up in doing anything for God.
The Bible never says that our walk with Jesus will be an easy one. In fact, it says the exact opposite. Jesus says, in John 15:20, "...If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you". Our persecution might not come in the form of having our head cut off or being killed in some other way (though it can happen in certain parts of the world), but in my opinion there are varying degrees of persecution that can happen to us. Again, our walk will not be easy.
The point of the matter is that no matter what we face in our walk, we need to persevere and endure what comes our way. How do we do this? By fixing our eyes upon Jesus, and turning to Him in all situations, good and bad. We need to put on the armour that God has provided for us (Ephesians 6:10-18), we need to pray, read our Bibles and meditate on the scriptures, memorize verses to help in our battles and daily lives. We also need to become His servants and do the work He has set aside for us to accomplish for His kingdom. Jesus needs to be at the center of everything in our lives. It is only from Him that we obtain our strength, our comfort, and our rest. He is the only one who can help us reach that distant shore!
I want to encourage everyone to persevere in his or her walk with Christ. Do not let temptations or trials stop you from reaching your goal. Do not let Satan cause you to doubt and/or fear. I am reminded at this time of a hymn, well actually the chorus, which I encourage us all to follow:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful
And the things of earth will grow strangely
In the light of His glory and grace