Most swim instructors will tell you the first thing you need to do, even before learning good swim technique, is to learn how to float. And the first step in learning to float? Believe thatyou can. The second step? Relax. (Hah, that’s easy for them to say in DEEP WATER – they can swim!)
So here’s some interesting science behind the ability of humans to float:
“Let’s start with a basic principle of physics: anything with a higher density than water will sink in water. The human body is, by weight, roughly two-thirds water. This means your density is similar to that of water. Thus, you shouldn’t have to do much, if any, work to float on top of the water. That said, your body composition can affect your natural ability to float. Very generally speaking, men tend to have greater muscle density than women. People with greater muscle density, or very lean muscle (a very low ratio of fat to muscle fiber), will have a greater tendency to sink. So, if you are young, a man, or a very athletic woman, good mechanics and technique will help you a lot. Nevertheless, your body still wants to float more than it wants to sink.”
Did you notice in the excerpt above that the author said men, especially young men, are typically denser than women? Now I don’t care who you are, that’s pretty funny! I guess that’s probably a topic for another time 🙂 The important thing to realize is that, no matter how dense you are, if properly trained and starting with the first two steps, to believe and relax, you should be able to float.
What you may not have thought about though, is that it takes the same first two steps to learn to rely on and walk with God. First you have to believe in Him, and then you have to relax and trust in Him. It sounds easy, and just like floating some people seem to have the knack while others struggle and thrash around a bit, but the truth is “your body still wants to float more than it wants to sink.”
So how do you go from sinking to floating, drowning to relaxing, struggling to trusting? Well, I recommend getting an instructor, someone who is really, really good at teaching people to float. And when it comes to God, no one is better suited to teaching us to believe and to trust in Him than the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “…the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:26-27)
Okay – so now you know your instructor’s name (the Holy Spirit), how do you get signed up for His class? Fortunately, Jesus gave us directions, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matt. 7:7-12)
I’ll tell you this, between the Word of God (Jesus) and the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit), you can learn not only to float (survive), but to swim (act on what you believe), to walk (follow in His steps), to run (be zealous for His will), and even to find rest for your weary soles and soul. One of the great truths of this new life is that, the way you get into it, is the same way you get through it. Believe that you can – and relax.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30)