Is anyone else excited about the new Finding Dory movie? I sure am, even though I haven’t seen it yet. *hides face in shame* All of the excitement about the new film has me thinking about the blue fish’s chant from the first movie.
It may seem as easy as singing Dory’s chant, but it isn’t. In the Christian walk of life, it can become hard to persevere. Peers pressure us, our families have disagreements, and people spread rumors and gossip about us. We are ridiculed and persecuted, left out and branded. We fall into dark places and trip over our own two feet.
Sometimes, life can get pretty, well, discouraging. The odds seem to never be in our favor at times (yes, I had to put that in there).
Let’s go back a couple thousand years to a man named Paul. He traveled all over the ancient world preaching the Gospel, shining God’s light, and encouraging fellow Christians. It wasn’t easy, especially with opposition from other religious groups and the Roman government. In 2 Corinthians, Paul writes about some of the hardships he endured during his ministry.
Five times I received from the Jews forty lashed minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a day and a night in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.
-2 Corinthians 11:24-28
Through all of those hardships, Paul persevered for the Kingdom. He kept swimming. But He couldn’t do it on his own. He had to rely on God to persevere.
In the song “My Everything,” Owl City’s Adam Young sings:
Later in the song, he continues to sing of how he runs to God when hardships come his way and it gets hard to persevere. We can all learn from Young’s song. When hardships come your way, run to God.
Run to Him through prayer. Pour out everything, how you feel, what’s going on, and why it’s hurting you. Then ask Him for help. Don’t be shy. He loves to hear you. He wants to help you. He’s not afraid of your mess, your problems, your circumstances.
Run to God through meditating on Scripture. When you’re confused and need answers and encouragement, flip open the Word. There, you’ll find comfort, advice, and stories about people like you and me. Messed up people who needed to rely on God to persevere.
Our life isn’t easy. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It’s hard. But when we rely wholly on God and make him our everything, we can have the strength to, “Just keep swimming.”