God’s Olympic Team, Part 3
For the last couple months, I’ve talked about the STEPs we each need to take to be part of God’s special winning team. These practical strides help us reach the finish line in this life and the next. The first skill we need is strength, the second we need is training, and the third is experience.
One of my earliest experiences with God happened when I was 5 years old. My grandparents lived on a lake, and they had an amazing rope swing that went out over the lake. My dad would take my sister and I there often to play.
We had done it a million times with no incident, but this day was different. My dad pushed me out on the swing, and the rope hit a knot in the tree, which caused it to jerk. I fell off the swing into the lake below. I wasn't wearing a life jacket, and I didn't know how to swim.
Very quickly I began to sink under the murky water. I remember vividly seeing the light of day disappear as I sank further and further under the water. I knew even at that young age I was going to die because I couldn't get to the air above.
Suddenly I felt something grab the shoulders of my shirt and begin to pull me to the surface. I knew it had to be my dad, but when my head popped up out of the water I saw my dad on the shore. I looked around, and no one was there. My dad of course jumped in, swam out and rescued me. He kept saying, "How did you get to the surface? How did you not keep going down farther?"
I know it was my guardian angel that brought me back to the surface. There is no other explanation for it. God had saved my life, and I am still very grateful.
In our life we experience things that change us, that mold us, that adjust the way we view God and others. There are definitely people who experience bad things in life, and those mold us just as much. However, many people I have encountered have had some sort of amazing, miraculous experience with God in their lifetime.
I think it’s important to write these down or document them in some way because our natural tendency is to forget those miraculous things. We seem to move right along from an amazing experience, but the negative we remember for a long time. I would challenge you to do your best to remember those positive experiences just as much if not more than the negative in life.
David in the Bible knew of the importance of experiencing God for ourselves and journeying with Him throughout life. Psalm 34:8 says, “O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” David encourages us to taste God, or try God and see for ourselves if our lives aren’t better because of it.
This is the next part of being on God’s Olympic team and the third STEP: experiencing God or tasting God for ourselves. We can’t take someone else’s word or experience God through someone else’s experiences. We have to get to know Him ourselves, and trust me God will show up in amazing ways.
Life is genuinely a challenge in this sinful world. It isn’t easy to get through the day, and what I have found in life and ministry is that, even with God, it’s still a great challenge. When I encounter people who are trying to do life on their own without God, there is struggle.
They are struggling with many of the same things as those who are following God. The difference is they are trying to do it on their own. They don't have God with them giving them peace, joy and courage to get through this life.
Without God, I don't know how you survive in this sinful world. I don’t know how people manage to get through the day. With God, we can have peace that only comes through experiencing Him through our lives. I want that peace. I want God to be with me and to experience Him in my life. I pray you will find the time to get to know the God who wants to journey with you and show you amazing experiences while in a relationship with Him.