>Just Keep Swimming


The years of my sojourning
are one hundred and thirty;
few and unpleasant
have been the years of my life,
nor have they attained the years
that my fathers lived
during the days of their sojourning.
Genesis 47:9
The years of my life are far from attaining the years of Jacob, and sadly, I too can say, “Few and unpleasant have been the years of my life.” I can sympathize with Jacob. He looked back on his life, and he saw the pain of his wrong choices, and I too can see the pain of my wrong choices—choices made before I knew Christ, choices made without consulting Christ when I did know him.
These choices have reaped consequences and continue to reap consequences. These choices have given the enemy of my soul words of condemnation to whisper in my ears. These words he is not afraid to use to try to bring me into a place of depression and doubt.
There is one choice that I have made that trumps all other choices—my choice to surrender to Jesus Christ. Having made this choice, I now rejoice in forgiveness, and when I get caught looking back at past mistakes, I remember the promises of my God. I remember Philippians 3:13–14: “Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Jacob wrestled with the man in the place he called Peniel, and he held on for dear life, knowing that he could not go on without a blessing. I too hang on to Jesus Christ for dear life, knowing that I could not go on if he were not with me. He is my “friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverb 18:24).
This stay on earth may not be the most pleasurable, but that is all right because praise be to our God that this is not home, “for our citizenship is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20). Romans 8:18 declares, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
Jesus encourages us in Revelation 2:10 to “be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” I don’t believe this verse applies just to those who are being tortured and martyred for the faith, but for all believers everywhere, in every circumstance, as we live with new hearts and renewed minds yet still in this condemned flesh.
Oh Father,
My sin is ever before me, and I know that it is against You alone that I have sinned. In this knowledge it is Your forgiveness I seek. I recognized finally through the power of Your grace that Your Word was true and I had transgressed Your law. The consequences of my own heart choices were the cause of my pain, and yet You, my Jesus, died for me while I was still in my sins (Romans 5:8). Oh Father, I confess the good confession (1 Timothy 3:16). I believe the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Luke 4:17–21). Oh Father, thank You for forgiveness. Thank You for mercy and for Your grace. My allegiance is to You and to Your kingdom. You are my king. My heart, my life, is Yours today, tomorrow, and forever.
My Jesus, it is in Your name I pray,

So when life gets you down, take hold tightly to the hand of Jesus and just keep swimming…