We have our ups and we have our downs. Constantly we are stretched, we are challenged, we are thrown curve balls. Our lives move like the crashing waves. It can get so exhausting sometimes. It can get so overwhelming. But in the same way, those overwhelming waves, that constant, and many times annoying, ebb and flow compliments the high tides of joy and the happiness overhead. For those great seasons of blessings, there are awful seasons in the desert. It's just life. We wouldn't grow if we didn't experience that desperation. We wouldn't have endurance in those tough times if we didn't ever feel the buzz of the good times. The most important thing is that we never lose sight or give up on hope for rescue. We must remember that in the end of every hardship, regardless of how intense or how long it may be, there will be a new season that brings freshness in our lives.
There was a study done on wharf rats in Norway. Scientists took the rats and placed them in a tub of water and sprayed them with water so that they could not roll over or float. After testing many rats, they concluded that the rats could not swim longer than 20 minutes. At 20 minutes they would start drowning. They tested another batch of rats, but this time a little before the 20 minute mark they removed the rats from the water, dried them off, and placed them back in their cages. They let the rats recover for a few days. After some time passed, they put the rats back into the tubs of water to see what would happen. When it came to about 20 minutes, the rats kept swimming. At 30 minutes the rats kept swimming. At 1 hour they kept swimming. At 2 hours they were still swimming. At 4 hours, at 6 hours, at 7 hours. Can you believe that the rats kept swimming for 17 hours? Why is that? It's because they had experienced that feeling of rescue. They continued to endure, they continued to swim because they had HOPE that they would be saved in the end. Isn't that amazing? We have to be like the wharf rats. We have to keep swimming. We've all been privileged and blessed by the fact that we have experienced joys that many people in this world cannot even comprehend. So regardless of whatever hardships we are facing, we have to keep swimming, we have to endure, and we have to keep the faith. Have faith that the time will come when we'll finally be pulled out of the tub. Have faith that rest will come when we can regain our strength, share our joys, and strengthen and encourage each other with our stories before we are thrown into that tub again to swim.
So if you're swimming right now (I'm definitely swimming) then don't give up hope! Keep swimming! Just keep swimming! Visualize yourself on the other side, and you'll get there.