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I have never been a very good swimmer.

At 26, I still prefer holding onto floaties if my feet can’t touch the bottom of the pool.

However, one of my favorite places in the whole world is the ocean.

I love listening to the waves crash along the shore and feeling the salty mist touch my cheeks.

This past week, my husband and I spent time at the beautiful Siesta Key Beach in Florida. While this ocean is normally calm—with minimal waves—this particular time the water was very kicked up with a strong rip current because of some local storms.

Brad and I swam out into the water to where our feet could barely touch anymore. Since the water here is usually very peaceful, I was surprised when the waves crashed onto us and the rip current pulled at our feet.

I reached out and grabbed my husband’s hand. I started panicking and told him I couldn’t touch the bottom.

He held my hand tighter and said, “Just stay calm and hold onto me.”

We made it back to a safer area and swam around for a little bit.

Soon, I felt a little more confident that I could get to the shore on my own.

Brad called to me and warned me, “Don’t turn your back to the waves.”

I heard him but was pretty confident I’d be fine.

Until the very next moment when a giant wave snuck up on me and kicked my feet right out from underneath me. I was pulled under because of the rip current.

I finally got my footing and crawled to the shore, coughing up sea water.

After that, I stayed close to my husband in the water and held onto him when the waves were too strong.

I knew that as long as I was close to Brad and was holding onto him, I would be safe because of his love for me. I also learned that it was very important to listen to his voice and words of caution.

I think trusting God is a lot like that.

Life can be calm and peaceful at times. And at other times, there’s chaos and the waves of life feel like they’re pushing us down over and over again.

But He is right there. Promising to hold our hand if we will trust Him.

His promise is not that the waves will stop or calm down. But that He will be with us in them. And we can trust that when He is with us, we will come through the other side.

In Isaiah 43:2, God tells us, “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” 

When I held onto Brad in the waves, I knew I was safe. When I ignored him and tried to do it on my own, I nearly drowned.

Life can be difficult. It can be so hard at times.

But if we reach out, God promises to be there with us in the deep waters and rivers of difficulty. His love for us can give us confidence that even in the midst of the hardship, He is trustworthy and will carry us through. His voice is worth listening to and trusting.

Friends, let’s stop trying to make it through the deep waters of life on our own. No need to keep coughing up all that ocean water.

Hold onto Him. He loves you. He loves me. And His love will carry us through.

Won’t you trust Him today?  

Bella Kauffman

Bella Kauffman is a proud homeschool graduate and National Bible Bee alumna. She published her first book at 18 and is now the author of six devotionals for teens (published under her maiden name, Morganthal). Bella has been a writing coach, speaker, and magazine editor. She served as a youth pastor for nearly five years and is excited to see where God leads her next. She is the wife of Brad and a cat mom to Marley and Binx. Bella is creative, upbeat with a loving personality, and is passionate about leading teens and kids to Christ. 

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