Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Thursday, October 6, 2016

I Expect More...of My Expectations (A Morning Prayer)

Good morning Lord. Thank You for another day. I am looking forward to another opportunity to glory You through the job You blessed me with. I pray for a good day at work today.

Lord, it's like You've been having my life on replay; teaching me new things with old stories. Like I was thinking back to when I had to take swimming lessons in college. Passing the swimming test was a requirement, and I was worried sick about that because I couldn't swim at all. The class was divided between those who could swim some, but couldn't pass the test, and those who could not swim at all, which was my crowd. Then we were buddied up within that group, and my partner was a guy who looked as scared as I was. Well, long prayer short, we went though the basics and to my amazement, I was learning how to swim.

So Lord, it finally came down to the day we had to take our swimming test. One part of the test was that we had to swim all the way across the width of the pool using any stroke we chose. So I chose the basic crawl stroke, because it was the one I could do the easiest. But the one thing about that stroke that I never mastered was the part where you turn your head, lifting your mouth just out of the water to get some air. So I had to adapt to overcome, and I knew I would just have to hold my breath all the way across the pool.

So there I was swimming, which probably looked more like thrashing, but making my away across that pool. Honestly Lord, I never expected I would make it all the way across. I figured that since I was a beginner and had to hold my breath, I wouldn't make it. I was stroking and kicking and feeling like I must have missed a turn because the other side of the pool would never show up. My breath was giving out, and I just knew I wouldn't reach the other side. I pretty much accepted the fact that I would probably have to retake the class.

So Lord, I decided to stop swimming. And You know what...when I stood up in the pool, and took off my fog-filled goggles, there I was standing within less than two feet from the side. Had I just gave one more kick, and one more stroke, or even just stretched my hand out in front of me as far as I could reach, I would have made it.

Father, ever since that day, that story has said a lot about me and a lot to me; and not so much about my swimming skills, or lack there of. But it has forced me to think about what I expect of myself; I realized that I needed to expect more..of my expectations. Had I expected I could do it, I probably would have tried harder. But because from the very first moment the instructor said "Go", I was expecting that I wouldn't finish. So my expectations became my finish line and not the other side of the pool. In spite of what I was actually capable of, my actions simply played out my expectations. And before then and since then I have seen where my limited expectations have been played out many times in many areas of my life.

But now Lord that You are in my heart, I have seen what You can do through me. I have seen how Your strength is made perfect in my weakness, and Your grace has proven sufficient in my suffering. So now that I know more of You, I expect more of me. And even though the waters in which I swim are not always calm and the other side is all the way to Heaven, I won't stop swimming. And no more will I stop just short of my goal. I will "press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14).

Lord I am thankful for the grace the swimming instructor gave me that day. She said I was close enough to pass. And I am thankful for Your grace especially when I have fallen way short. I love You enough to keep swimming towards You, and I won't stop until I reach You. In Jesus name. Amen.

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