The Agonizing Swim


At the time, Bruckner Chase became only the second person to ever swim the 25 miles across Monterey Bay. Many had tried this same swim before, but all except one failed. The reason for failure isn’t what we might expect. It wasn’t the long swim. It wasn’t the temperature of the waters. The reason was jellyfish. Anyone who dares to swim has to fight through the stings of the jellyfish if they want to make it through. Chase received his first sting from the jellyfish only an hour into the swim. Soon the jellyfish became more common and so did the stings. The stings were so severe that Chase put on a wetsuit and continued the swim. Even with the wet suit, Chase stated, “I got stung on my tongue, inside my mouth, on my neck and my feet and hands…After the sun came up I did not take a single stroke in which I did not at least see a jellyfish.” If this wasn’t bad enough, during the last mile of his swim, the jelly fish were so thick that he felt them sliding through his hands with almost every stroke. After 14 hours of swimming through the masses of jellyfish and enduring a slew of stings, Chase finally made it. After finally completing this terribly difficult swim, Chase stated, “Had it not been in a wetsuit, I would not have been able to physically survive.”

What an inspiration of endurance, hardship, and determination! In this life we too often get stung by the challenges and difficulties of the world. How can we possible make it through? With spiritual armor!

Ephesians 6:10-18 talks about the armor of God and how important it is to have. Verse 11 says, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.” Just like Chase thought he couldn’t have made it without the protection of the wetsuit, we will not be able to survive against “the fiery arrows of the evil one” (6:16).

Throughout this life we will surely have to endure hardships. However, most of these hardships can be softened and even completely blocked if we make sure we equip ourselves with God’s armor. Bruckner Chase could not have made it across the Monterey Bay without the wetsuit, and we too cannot make spiritually without the armor of God. As we go through this life, let’s make sure we have equipped the armor we need to stand against the devil.

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