I would have perished in my affliction.
for by them You have preserved my life.
Each hot day when we showed up at the pool, we walked to our respective places. Me to the edge of the deep end with an ever-growing, brave heart. My sister to the stairs in the shallow end. But as the summer went on, I wondered, Could I? Should I? Bring her out here to the deep?
One day it occurred to me I could let her get on my back and half walk, half bounce down that slope between the shallow and the deep. I could go slowly. And if that next step deeper freaked her out, I could simply back up to where she felt comfortable.
I swam to the shallow end and unveiled my plan as if I were giving my sister the greatest gift one human could bestow on another.
Surprisingly, she was hesitant. It took great convincing on my part and lots of promises not to go any farther than where she felt safe.
Finally, she got on my back and wrapped her arms around my shoulders. I walked slowly to the slope. One baby step down. Two steps. Three.
At the third step, I slipped.
- We both went under very suddenly.
My sister’s hands slipped from my shoulders to my throat. It was as if she believed the only way she could be saved was to hold my throat with an increasingly intense amount of strength. Her grip tightened to the point where even when I finally pushed up above the surface, no air could get in. My mind got foggy very quickly, and suddenly I couldn’t figure out which way to go to find safety. I became less and less sure of most things around me, but absolutely sure about one thing. I was drowning.
Here’s the craziest part of the story.
- I can’t remember how we were saved. I know we were. My sister and I are both alive today. But I can’t remember the rest of the story.
Maybe it’s because I’m supposed to have the richest memories of that feeling of panic. And the realization that panic never helps save anyone.
You know where I see this drowning without water and a subsequent panicked response most often? A woman’s insecurities.
- I guarantee you’ve felt the choking effects of insecurity even if you don’t call it that.
You’re not as talented or smart or experienced as she is.
Protect yourself and your dignity. Don’t dare try this new venture.
If only you were as organized or intentional or creative as they are, then maybe you could accomplish this. But the reality is, you’re not.
You know this is never going to work, right?
How do I know you feel these things? Because I’ve experienced them myself.
Just like in that pool all those years ago, I can go from standing securely with my head above water to slipping down a slope with seemingly nothing to grab hold of. Then the insecurity, always kind of present on my shoulder, slips into a death grip around my throat.
My insecurities grip to the point where nothing life giving can get in. I forget truth. I don’t even want to go to church. My mind gets foggy very quickly, and suddenly I can’t figure out which way to go to find safety.
That’s the thing about insecurity. When it grips us, the very thing we need most — truth — is the very thing we have a hard time grasping. I can be close to truth but still be drowning with my insecurities. I can have truth sitting on my nightstand. I can have it preached to me on Sundays. But grasping it and standing on it and letting it shift my thinking away from panic — that’s something that requires truth to be more than just close.
That requires truth to be inside me, guiding me, rewiring my thinking, and whispering, “Safety is right here. Insecurity will stop choking you when you remove its grip. Insecurity only has power over you when you allow it control over your thoughts.”
And as we delight in the truth of God’s Word and live out the truth of God’s Word, it truly becomes a lifeline to our souls. Something we see beautifully spelled out in our key verse: “If Your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have preserved my life” (Psalm 119:92–93).
Indeed, we are limited in and of ourselves. But the minute we receive Jesus to be the Lord of our lives, our limited potential can turn into exponential growth. He is alive in us. He gives us freedom from our dead lives and the power to walk in a new life — a resurrected life.
I want to weave myself into your story. I’m standing in the shallow end. I’m holding tightly on to an immovable bar of truth with one hand — and with the other, I’m reaching toward you.
Grab hold. Come back from the sinking place. And from the deepest place of your soul, catch your breath.
Dear Lord, my insecurities are small things compared to Your truth. But they feel so big and powerful when they have a grip on me! Please help me grasp Your truth and let it change me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Excerpted with permission from Embraced by Lysa TerKeurst, copyright Lysa TerKeurst.
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Insecurity can take us down in a millisecond! How vital it is, then, to remember to hold on to the One who is our lifeline! Let’s delight in the truth of God’s Word and live out the truth of God’s Word. Come share your thoughts with us. We want to hear from you! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full