Many years ago, “experts” in Germany believed that if trains moved at the frightful speed of 15 miles an hour, blood would spurt from the passengers’ noses. They also believed that some passengers would pass out and others would suffocate when the train moved through tunnels. Others laughed and pointed fingers at Thomas Edison and called him the joke of Detroit. They said he would never be able to perfect the light bulb. Yet because Edison wouldn’t give up; experiment one thousand and one brought into American life the electric light bulb! In 1881, when the New York YMCA announced typing lessons for women, vigorous protests were made. It was believed by the protesters that the female anatomy would break down under the stress and strain. Joshua Coppersmith was once arrested in Boston for trying to sell stock in a telephone company. He was told, “All well-informed people know that it is impossible to transmit the human voice over a wire.”
How many times have you heard, “It can’t be done, it’s impossible, or not in my lifetime?” It seems that the “I can’t do that” mind-set has been programmed into many Christians. They can’t do this or they can’t do that. God never intended for the child of God to have a Can’t Do Attitude. Many forget that our God is a God of possibilities!!! Instead of seeing victory, they see utter defeat. Many have programmed themselves into believing that the situation is too difficult or the task ahead of them is too monumental. Their cry is, “Turn back, give up and give in.” They believe that it is impossible to find the strength to face another day, to smile in the fog of living, or to be excited about life in general. The main focus on their “bucket list” is to find something that God can’t handle. Now that’s something that can’t be done. For the faith driven child of God nothing is impossible; that last thought reminds me of the story of Susan Maroney.
In May 1997, Susan Maroney became the first woman to swim the 118 miles from Cuba to Florida. In her third attempt, the 22-year-old Australian swam for 24 hours in shark-infested waters surrounded by a 28-by-8-foot shark-proof cage. The cage was itself attached to an escort boat moving alongside her. When Maroney reached Fort Zachary State Park in the Florida Keys, she was badly sunburned, dehydrated and covered with welts from jellyfish stings. At one time, she had hallucinations in which she thought she saw monkeys hanging on the cage. She stated afterwards, “So many times you think, I just don’t want to keep going.” She was encouraged by her mother and brother, who motivated her from the escort boat throughout the night.
Swimming in the night was what Maroney described as “the hardest part of her journey.” Have you ever felt as if you were swimming in the dark? Trials and tribulations have invaded your life. Perhaps, growing weary, you’ve felt like giving up. If you have, let me encourage you. I want to cheer you on. Heaven awaits and you haven’t completed the course and tasted victory until you have passed the finish line! You can make it!
There are several lessons that we can learn from Susan Maroney’s experience: 1. Work hard to accomplish your dreams. 2. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and who have the same hope and aspirations. These are the ones that will stay with you even in the dark times. Remember the Lord has provided every Christian with all the encouragement they need, packaged in the Holy Spirit! 3. Keep your goal in sight even if you imagine things that are not there. The Israelites wandered 40 years in the desert instead of entering into the Promised Land because they saw giants of their own making instead of the God who can handle all the “giants” of this life. 4. And last but not least brothers and sisters; keep on swimming!