By Elizabeth Prata
This example is used a lot in sermons and devotionals. It is an oldie but a goodie.
Florence Chadwick was a young woman in 1952 but had already swum the English Channel, both ways, and broke records doing it. One morning in 1952 she stood on the shores of California with intent to swim the 26 miles to Catalina Island. It was foggy. She was used to fog, rough water, and cold, having swum in these conditions since when was 11 years old so she was prepared for any conditions that may beset her on the long swim. It was so foggy that Florence could not see the support boats motoring around her to scare away the sharks. However after 15 hours of rough water stroke after stroke, she felt like she wasn’t getting anywhere. Despite encouragement from her mother and others in the support boat next to her, Florence wearied and asked to be taken out of the water. She soon discovered that she was half a mile from her goal.
At a news conference the next day Florence said, “All I could see was the fog.…I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.”
Florence tried again two months later. This time, she made it! What made the difference? She said that she kept a mental image of the shoreline in her mind while she swam.
Prophecy is not meant to BE the fog. It is knowable, profitable, and given to us for all education. It is a light to keep in our heart as to the immutable existence of God, His eternal promises, and the goal for every believer, to reach the eternal Lighthouse.
There are end of time prophetic utterances in much of the Old Testament and in every book of the New except for four. And three of those four are single-chapter letters to one individual. Jesus meant prophecy to be the mental image for us to hold dear as to the goal. Do not give up half a mile from the finish line!
He is near, He is coming. Do not wander, drift, be swept away by currents taking you far from the goal. May every stroke of your swim toward eternity be as vigorous as the one before. Pray for that vigor. The Holy Spirit is there to help us: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;” (John 14:16)
If you knew that Jesus was returning tomorrow would it change your decision not to study the Bible today? Not to pray? Not to help someone? If you knew it was next week, or next year, how differently would you act as a Christian? You’re tired. We are all tired. The wages of sin splash up on us, and sometimes splash into us. It is wearying holding firm against the current. But keep the goal in mind! Envision scenes the Bible gives us of that happy Day.
behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and someone was sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads…Revelation 4:2-4.
Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created. (Revelation 4:11)
The River and the Tree of Life: And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. (Revelation 22:1).
Keep persevering – with keeping the prophetic finish line in sight!