A record breaking, long-distance swimmer, she slipped into the water from the shore of the Catalina Islands intent on setting another mark. Her target was to be the first to swim all the way to the coast of California.
She was strong, trained, and confident making steady progress for fifteen grueling hours. And then a thick fog set in. The inability to see what lay ahead, combined with her exhaustion, caused doubt to creep in. Yet, with encouragement from her mother, riding in one of the nearby boats, she pressed on for another full hour until finally she asked to be pulled from the water.
Without her vision she gave up, believing she had too far to go to achieve the goal. What she discovered as she sat in the boat, was that she was just one mile short of her intended destination.
Like Florence Chadwick in 1956, you too will experience unforeseen difficulties and setbacks along the way. When you lose your vision, it’s easy to fall prey to inner doubts. Perseverance- the resolve to press on toward the goal- is the power that fuels victory. So how can you access it when challenges arise?
- Prepare in Advance.
Florence didn’t just decide one day she could swim long distances. She developed her stamina, nourished her health and practiced daily. You need to do the same. Nourish the body with healthy living but more importantly nourish the soul with daily time in the Word and personal communion with God. A heart invested with scripture, in strong relationship with the Creator, is able to push through adversity.
- Surround yourself with a support group.
When she took to the ocean, Florence was flanked by safety boats and loved ones to watch over her and encourage her. God didn’t intend for you to walk through life alone. While it’s easy to withdraw from people when challenges strike, it isn’t wise to do so. Florence was able to swim a full hour longer than she thought because of the encouragement she received from her mother. The encouragement of Christian friends and family can help you press on past where you would go alone.
- Trust the path you are on.
What Florence lacked at the end was vision. In life, there will be times when you cannot see with your own eyes. In the water, Florence had only herself to rely upon. But you’re not alone- no matter how it feels.
Message for the Journey:
When the fog of humanity clouds your vision and you are unable to see the shore, don’t despair. God still sees all things. Whatever difficulty you’re facing, persevere—press on in faith. He will see you to the other side.
Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. Hebrews 10:36