But the thing that really got my attention was what Lecomte said when asked about the challenge: "I never jump into the water thinking about the entire ocean, I just cut it into small pieces. When I am in the middle of the ocean, I think about being in a pool and the pool moves with me." Source: NPR.
"The pool moves with me."
Could he cross the Pacific if he was thinking about all those miles ahead? Maybe not. And in this way, maybe I actually can relate to Lecomte. Alas, I will probably never even swim across my local pool, but there have been many times in my life when I needed the pool to move with me. When my sister died, I was thrown into an ocean of grief...and I had to simply keep treading water...day after day, for years, until life became different. I reached a new shore. When years ago I faced difficult relational issues I learned to recite (and focus on) "One Day at a Time." Later, as mom to toddlers, it was more often "One Minute at a Time."
The best news is that while we focus on our small pool or our one minute, God is holding onto us and our futures. When Paul was imprisoned in Rome and awaiting trial under Emperor Nero he wrote to the Philippians, exhorting them to rejoice in Christ and live by his example. Paul, imprisoned and subjected to all kinds of difficulties and discomforts, told them "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil 4:6-7. He didn't say we would receive peace by handling everything, or by knowing the future; rather it would be through prayerfully and thankfully seeking God.
Paul goes on to say that he knows the secret to being content in any circumstances. Through any trial, through any vast ocean, the secret is Christ. "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Phil 4:13. So often this verse is interpreted as a blank check, as if through my own strength I can achieve all manner of success by merely attaching Christ's name to my efforts. That's a hollow interpretation. The way Paul meant it was this: the world and its circumstances will grieve you, but you can overcome through Christ's strength alone.
What ocean have you thrown yourself into, or been plunged into through no fault of your own? I hope its encouraging to remember that you don't need to handle the whole thing right now. Take it one minute at a time. Imagine shrinking that ocean down into the size of a pool, and let the pool move with you. Then, trust God with the rest. You can overcome any trial when you allow Christ to strengthen you.
As I hit publish, I am praying for God's peace to be with you. And stay tuned...I'm super excited to be making a big announcement later this week!