• Jill Jarrell Newsome

The Grip Of The Rip

I learned to swim in the ocean at three years old. My dad would boast saying, "I let go of her and told her I needed her to swim and she started dog paddling." Just as important as learning to swim was us learning to respect the water. I always heard that! I heard about rip currents early and often. A rip current is created when waves break strongly and weakly in different locations causing the water to move in a circle and then out to sea in a narrow, fast-moving current. Dad always told us if we are in a rip current, DO NOT try to swim straight to shore and DO NOT panic! He explained that we would waste our strength trying to swim against the current. We were to float on our back and let the current take us because they are normally no more than 100 yards from shore. Once out of the rip current we could swim, walk or ride a wave back.


People get in trouble when they are moved so far offshore that they are unable to get back to the beach because of fear, panic, exhaustion, or lack of swimming skills. Isn't life like that sometimes? Life's journey can be like trying to swim to shore during a rip current. We find ourselves in trouble, scared, panicked and we try to fix things all by ourselves. Instead of staying calm we continue to fight and all we do is exhaust ourselves. It is hard to be still during a rip current.


The Israelites were freed for the final time and they left Egypt and Pharaoh’s rule. When they got to the Red Sea they were scared. The impossible was ahead of them! A sea in front of them and an army behind them! And Pharaoh's army was chasing them! They were trapped with no way out! They cursed Moses asking him if he brought them there to die. Exodus 14: 11, "They said to Moses, 'Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt?'"


I love what Moses said in Exodus 14: 14, "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

The Israelites had to do something - they had to be obedient. They had to be quiet and watch God work! He brought them out of slavery and they could have faith that He would save them again! Deuteronomy 31: 8, "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”


As a believer living in a dark world, we won't go long before we encounter obstacles and attacks thrown in our direction. Satan hates Truth! He targets us if we are living by it, seeking it or standing on it! God is greater than anything we will have to face in this world and He still fights for us today! He is constantly protecting, strengthening, shielding us even when we do not realize it. Romans 8: 31, "What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?"


If you fight your battles yourself, you have limited capabilities. If you let God fight your battles, the outcome will be something miraculous. There will be no denying that it was a miraculous performance from God and He will get all of the Glory! Deuteronomy 4, "For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you to give you victory.” It does not say you might have a victory or sometimes you will have a victory. God's Words says, the Lord fights your enemies to GIVE YOU VICTORY!


Whatever battles you are facing today, trust God to fight the battle for you. God has the perfect plan for us. Jeremiah 29: 11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Trust Him! He will bring victory. If you feel you are in a rip current, being still shows our trust that God is in charge. Eventually you will come out of the rip current and you will be carried back to the shore. While it will not be the place you began it will be a place of gratefulness and you will see God's Glory and victory all over it!


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