I have a deep fear of being underwater.
I am currently in the process of becoming a certified scuba diver.
Scary moments or moments of difficulty call us to be fully present.
In one of the dives, I was required to complete a number of skills successfully.
One of which was, mask removal.
Twenty-five feet underwater, in the darkness of an Illinois lake in late October.
One by one, we had to remove our masks and put it back on, then empty out all the water while still twenty-five feet underwater.
I completed the task successfully. It still remains a skill I do not enjoy.
But in that moment, as I was motioned to remove my mask, I focused on taking in a big breath through my regulator (air source). Then, I removed my mask and just took a moment to focus on my breathing. I was thinking about every breath just through my mouth and not my nose (I tend to breathe through my nose, which is obviously problematic scuba diving. My mask usually protected water from getting in my nose). After focusing on a few breaths, I put the mask strap on the back of my head and pulled the mask over my face. I pressed on the top of the mask and blew out my nose to empty out the water-filled mask.
I focused on each breath.
Every ounce of my attention was in that moment.
What a gift scary and challenging moments can be. Fear and intensity welcome us to be completely present in each moment.
Thank you Jesus for moments of fear and discomfort that welcome us to be fully present.
Even in those moments, He is always with us, in each and every breath.
Tremendous growth happens in the places of discomfort.
These are the times He is growing seeds for what He knows will be valuable soon.
He is paving the places of discomfort with supernatural peace that only He can provide.
“Jesus replied, 'You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.'"
“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
“Be still, and know that I am God”
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”