When I was a kid, I loved playing in running water. Whenever I had the opportunity, I would see if I could stand in the water and push against the force of the current. I would play games with others to test our skills at swimming across a fast-moving part of the river, or even try to swim upstream at times. It was a challenge that we enjoyed, and we had a lot of fun.
As an adult, these activities can still be fun for a short amount of time, but I have also come to realize that it does not take long for this to wear me out. It is much more peaceful to work with the current rather than against the current. Tubing on the Comal or Guadalupe Rivers is a good example of what this looks like. This involves staying in the current and letting the river take you to your destination.
The world we live in seems to glorify the idea of fighting against the current, however. Many of us have learned how to chart our own path and plow ahead no matter the forces coming against us. While I believe that hard work and determination are character traits to be valued, I think there is more to life than just this. Peter has something else for us to consider as those who live in the way of Jesus instead of the way of the world around us: Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you in due time. Rather than strive and struggle against the current, we are called to be humble and let God be the one to lift us up. Sometimes I wonder if our striving and achieving mindsets lead us to swim against God’s current in our lives. In our effort to get to a destination of our choosing, we can easily miss that God is trying to lead us somewhere else. Instead of fighting against the current, and really against God’s movement in our lives, we are being invited to see where the God is at work, and to let the current move us to where He wants us to go.
And if the thought of trying to stop striving and achieving in life makes you nervous, the next verse was put there just for you (and me!): Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” God knows what we need to hear, and I am thankful for that.
As we move through the Easter season, there is so much to celebrate: springtime in Texas, vaccines continuing to rollout and take effect, the world opening up more around us, the resurrection of Jesus and the new life that we have in Christ! This new life in Christ is not about striving and trying hard, it is about surrendering to God’s grace and allowing God’s power to work in our lives right now. I invite you to take advantage of this season by considering where God is at work and moving in your life. Will you fight against the current of God, or will you jump in and allow God’s power and grace to move you where He is leading you to go?