I remember the day I learned to swim, as a child. It was in a Sunday School class party and everybody there seemed to know how to swim, except me. My teacher, noticing that I was in the shallow end of the pool, asked, “Steve, can’t you swim?” “No,” I answered embarrassingly. “Do you want me to teach you?” he asked. I agreed and he began his instruction. “The first thing you need to know,” he said, “is that you don’t have to be afraid of sinking and drowning. If you relax, your body will float. Just try lying on your back and relaxing in the water.” I laid back in the water, attempting to do what he had told me. However, every time I laid back and felt my head sinking into the water, at the moment the water filled my ears, I would lift my head. Then I would begin to sink. “Don’t lift your head,” my teacher encouraged me. “Just relax and let your ears go underwater. You won’t sink.” Again I would try to take his advice, but when I felt the water rising above my ears toward my face, I would rise up and again begin to sink.
Finally he came over toward me and said, “Lie back in my arms and I will hold you on top of the water so that you cannot sink.” I began to lie back and, true to his word, I felt his arms underneath me, holding me up. As he held me there and I felt the support of his arms, I began to relax a little. After a short time, I was comfortable. Finally, he said to me, “Okay, now I’m going to move my arms from your back so that you won’t feel me touching you, but they will still be beneath you, so that I will catch you if you start to sink. Do you trust me?” he asked. I expressed that I did trust him and he did exactly what he said. For the first time in my life, I floated on the water. I felt no fear because I knew that underneath me were his arms. I knew that I had his guarantee that he would not let me sink.
There is a biblical promise which is connected to our spiritual rest which points us toward the arms of God. When Moses announced God’s blessing on the tribes of Israel by promising to bring them into His place of rest, He told them that “the eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27). Christians are in Christ, and, says the Bible, underneath are the everlasting arms.
There have been times in my life when decisions I made caused me to say to myself, “Oh no, I’m sunk now.” My assessment always proved to be wrong. Whether I felt it or not, underneath me were God’s everlasting arms keeping me from sinking. The same is true of your life. You are where you are today because God has upheld you by His arms. The arms of God provide a lifetime guarantee that He will take care of the details of our lives, ensuring that we won’t make choices which cause us to sink to a place where He doesn’t want us to be. You can relax and enjoy the living water because God has you in His arms!