Optimism and Faith
14 June 2019
A few years ago I bought my first GoPro - the cube looking one. Small and super practical. It came with a surfboard mount. So I enthusiastically cleaned my surfboard down and glued on the mount. Next, was to try it out in the surf. So the following morning my friend Andrew and I headed down to Catherine Hill Bay. The surf was kind of small, but still very rideable. So we pulled on our wetsuits and jumped into the water.
I pressed record and started surfing. One wave, two waves. All good! The third wave I got closed out on me and I fell onto the GoPro. As I came out of the white wash and my new GoPro was gone! Frantically I dived down again and again looking for my $450 toy. After 15 minutes of searching underneath the waves I signalled to Andrew to come in to the beach. I explained to him what had happened and how I had lost my GoPro. He looked out at the waves and said out loud what I was thinking in my head, “You’re never gonna find that. That’s like looking for a needle in a haystack!”
Then I suddenly became aware of a battle in my mind. One side of me was telling me, “Forget it, the GoPro is gone, you’re never gonna find it”. The other part of me was saying, “Have faith James, God will help you find it”. So I said to my friend, “Let’s pray”.
We knelt down on the beach and prayed, “Father God, I have no idea where this GoPro is, I can’t afford to buy another one, please help us find it”. With an amen Andrew went 100m up the beach and I went 100m down the beach, jumping in and diving down looking for the GoPro. Five minutes went by. Nothing! Ten minutes. Nothing! After fifteen minutes of diving under waves and scoring the bottom, a voice inside my head told me, “Give up, forget it, you will never find it. You look stupid out here looking for this thing. And you have dragged your poor friend into this as well”. Once again, I said to myself, “No. God has got this. If he created the whole universe and knows everything about me, then he certainly knows where my GoPro is”. And for some reason I felt like my friend Andrew was the one that really needed to find the GoPro to build his faith, so I kept diving. As we worked our way towards each other, I heard my friend yell out to me, “I can feel something under my foot”. I swam over and dived down. It was my GoPro. Amen! As happy and relieved as I was, I wasn’t as surprised as Andrew as he kept repeating, “I can’t believe that!”
All of us at times have negative self-talk. Perhaps we repeat in our mind the things that others have said about us or perhaps the way we see ourselves. The more we listen to negative comments, the lies and judgements that others claim over us, the more we start to believe them. Don’t believe the lie! The God who is for us is much greater and more powerful than anything that can come against us. So be optimistic, live out of faith, not fear!
“This is my command - be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9