On July 4, 1952, 34 year old Florence Chadwick attempted to swim the 21-mile Pacific channel from Catalina Island to Palos Verdes, coast of Los Angeles, California. Long distance swimming was nothing new to Florence. After all, she had been the first woman to swim the English Channel in both directions!
But on that day in July, the water was unusually choppy and ice-cold. The support boats that accompanied her were surrounded by a fog so thick she could hardly see them. The tides and current were against her. On several occasions, prowling sharks and stingrays had to be driven away with rifles. But at daybreak she decided to go for it. Many hours passed but the fog never lifted. Florence swam more than 15 hours and 55 minutes before deciding she couldn't go on, and was taken out of the water. She found out that she was less than a mile from the coast. The fog had made her unable to see her goal, and she failed to get to the end.
Often, our visions and dreams are challenged by obstacles in our way. Our life experience is riddled with occasions where we have failed to reach our goals. However, the Bible reminds us that by the sovereign promise of God and through faith in Christ Jesus all things are possible (Phil. 4:13). That’s how faith works. Through faith we are given a vision that will help us get through the fog.
Two months later Florence Chadwick tried again. The day started with an ominous note for Florence and the rest of the support team - the fog was just as dense as before. Despite the poor visibility, she began her swim. Hour after hour she swam with sheer determination, but she was getting tired and wanted to quit. Then she did something different. She said that she kept a mental image of the shoreline in her mind while she swam. At last, she arrived at the shore and crossed the channel in 13 hours and 47 minutes breaking a 27-year-old record by more than 2 hours. She becomes the first woman ever to complete the swim. She said that if it had not been for the vision, she wouldn’t have completed the journey.
In the Bible, Goliath was an ominous enemy. He had the pedigree of a perfect warrior. He was 9’9” tall,
and wore at least 175 pounds of armor. Not counting the armor, he would have weighed approximately 600 pounds. There was no question as to what the outcome of the battle between Goliath and David should have been. Goliath had a greater advantage over David. This was a no- brainer. But David had quite the attitude. Listen to what he said to King Saul, “The Lord, who saved me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, will save me from the hand of this Philistine.” So Saul said to David, “Go, and may the Lord be with you! (1 Sam. 17:37).You’d think David went bonkers! But we know how the story ends. His faith gave him a vision of victory in God’s name. At the end of the day, David remained standing.
When you’re faced with giants in your life, don’t be afraid. Instead, have courage in the Lord because He works behind the scenes to fulfill the improbable outcomes. And at the end of it all, you shall overcome.