Advice from a Little Blue Fish

A few weeks ago, Dave preached a sermon on Isaiah 8:5-22 which he titled “Waiting in Hope for Triumph”. I found myself getting emotional as he talked about the remnant of Israel who were trusting and waiting on the Lord, even as the waters of His righteous judgment were reaching up to their necks. Dave stood up on his tippy-toes, put his hands up by his chin, and tilted his head back as a person would if they were in rising water- just desperate to keep breathing.

This is a picture of where we live each day. The effects of sin are all around us, and sometimes it can feel like we’re drowning. The combination of sin and suffering in my own heart, in the lives of my friends and family, and in the world can be overwhelming, to say the least. I’m sure that for many of the faithful Israelites, the hope of Isaiah 9 (yay for Jesus!), seemed far off and the water just seemed to keep rising. But God promised to be a sanctuary for his people (v. 14), and he was and is faithful to his word.

A funny point of application came to my mind as I listened to the sermon. Dori, a character from Finding Nemo, sings a song to her friend Marlin when he’s about to hopelessly give up on his quest to find his son. Her advice was: just keep swimming. You can watch the scene here. Go on. You’ll like it.

This philosophy can end up meaningless and unrealistic if you’re just living in denial of pain and looming disaster. But my connection of it to the sermon was definitely more about why we should keep swimming. Hebrews 12:1-3 says,

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

This considering Jesus so that you may not grow weary is what I like to call “swimming”. He paid all of our debt, he has the power to help us in any situation, large or small, and he could not possibly love us more than he does. He is the reason I keep swimming. And I love that he uses a little blue fish and a silly little song to help me stay afloat.


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