I came home last Wednesday to find my grandson and Nemo! Asher loves to watch Finding Nemo. He pulled me onto the couch. "Watch," he said! It's hard to ignore the summons of a toddler when he is your 23-month-old grandson. We sat down together, and I was treated to a good piece of advice by Dory:
Dory: Hey there, Mr. Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down, do you wanna know what you've gotta do? Marlin: No I don't wanna know. Dory: [singing] Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.
Dory's words hit home. Like many, I'm walking through some busy days and I am just a little fatigued. Fatigue can lead to frustration, cowardliness, and a temptation to throw in the towel. I needed Dory's reminder to "keep swimming."
Fast forward to Friday. I was reading Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure, a fantastic treatise on joy by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. Lloyd-Jones took me to Matthew 14 and Jesus' interaction with Peter on the high seas. Peter went from walking on the water to barely treading water:
And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God." (Matthew 14:28-33 ESV)
Commenting on Peter's experience of doubt on the high seas Lloyd-Jones writes,
"You cannot live on one climactic experience, you must keep on looking to Him every day. 'We walk by faith' and you live by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ....You need Him all the time. The Bible is full of examples of this. One of the most perfect illustrations is the way the Children of Israel had to collect manna each day but the sabbath. That is the Lord's method. He does not give us enough for a month. We need a fresh supply every day, so start your day with Him and keep in touch with Him. That was Peter's fatal error; he looked away from Him. It is 'the fight of faith'; you are walking on turbulent waves and the only way to keep walking is to keep looking at Him.1
Dory supplies the motto, but Lloyd-Jones points me to the power. The only way to "keep swimming" is to "keep looking." Look to Jesus today. As Lloyd-Jones notes, "He will never let you sink, because you belong to him." (Romans 8:38-39)
1D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and it's Cure, chapter 11