Although I realize we are in the middle of winter, I have been thinking about summers of the past. I spent many summer days as a young boy swimming with friends in a variety of swimming pools. While I appreciated that time then, I certainly cherish the memories now.

I remember one day in particular in which I stood by the side of a pool and announced to my friends I was going to step off the side of the pool and walk across the top of the water. Of course I and they knew exactly what would happen. I took a step and immediately sank. And no, I was not thinking about Jesus as I did this.

Sinking in a pool as a child is one thing. Having that sinking feeling that things are not as they should be is an entirely different matter. As we continue to move into the New Year, lots of people are sharing that things feel out of sorts, that at times it is hard to keep one’s head above water.

This brings to mind another time in which people felt that things were amiss and out of kilter. Not long after the people followed Moses across the Red Sea, they found themselves in a parched desert setting. Days were arduous and despite Moses’ words, the people were uneasy. Such uneasiness, however, was magnified when one day Moses went up a mountain to spend time with God. Hours turned into days and weeks and the people became unsettled.

It was during this ambiguous worrisome time that the people became extraordinarily impatient. Their trust in God waned and they began to make decisions rashly, without much thought, and very little prayer. As a result, they made terrible decisions with long lasting consequences.

I believe this story is a great reminder to each of us, in this time in the wilderness in which challenges seemingly go on and on and on, to keep some things in mind.

In this time of uncertainty, we know to whom we belong. We know we can trust God and that the point of life and our existence is love itself. We know where we are headed and we know what we can stand on, the promises of God and the words of Jesus. I pray that we remain patient with ourselves, others and with God. I pray that we will slow down our decision making. And I pray that during this time we will become even more prayerful.

Yes, we will sink whenever we step off the side of a pool into water. But if we keep our focus on where it needs to be, we can trust that there will always be a hand ready to pull us out when it is hard to keep our heads above the water.