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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

19 October 2016: Sarah O'Grady, Petersfield Salvation Army

Strength in our weakness

Every week we take our children swimming. They love it! They are learning to swim under water and are doing brilliantly. My eldest daughter has her lesson in a small group with a swimming instructor. I am so proud of her, but I do fear. During every class, when I sit at the side of the pool and watch her in the water, I am on edge. Each times she drops beneath the water line I am anxious – waiting for her to reappear. If she is down a little longer than normal, I start to panic and my heart rate increases. I know she is safe but my love for her causes me to fear, even when she is in the arms of her teacher - a far better swimmer that me!

During her first lesson, my little girl mistakenly thought that she had to jump in. She had not been in the pool before and didn’t know how deep it was. She went under the water and couldn’t find the floor. She (and I) panicked. Her teacher however, was there. My daughter was incapable of asking for help, but her body language and her struggles showed her difficulties. Her teacher was excellent and grabbed her, pulling her to the surface and helped her to recover her breath and calm down. Over the next few weeks my little girl struggled to gain confidence and find her limits. She also had to learn to trust in the teacher to keep her safe. The first time she swam a few strokes on her own, I could not have been more proud.

During that first lesson, my daughter thought she was stronger than she was. She thought she could do something she was unable of doing. But in her weakness, the skill and strength of her teacher became apparent. How much more then, will our God seek to keep us safe and to support us. Every day when we wake up, the day stretches before us with untold options and decisions. It is easy to think that we have all the answers and that we can do everything on our own. Yet, sometimes we take on too much, sometimes we panic, sometimes we overestimate what we are capable of. But in our weakness, when we struggle and cry out for help, when we make mistakes, God is there. Through every day we can be sure that we have a God who is completely competent. A God who knows what is best for us, and who we can trust completely. It is through our weaknesses that God shows his true power and strength, enabling us in ways we could never have imagined.

The second 12 hour PACT Prayer will take place in The Salvation Army Hall next Wednesday, 26 October, between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm - all are welcome to pop in for as long or short a time as you can manage.


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