Strategies for Staying Above Despair ~ Lessons From the Ocean

Ocean wavesGod, help me to rise above despair.
To stay afloat
With my back to its gloomy bog
And my face lifted high;
Upward, unafraid.

I have always been a decent swimmer, which probably has something to do with the fact that I grew up near the ocean.

Swimming in the Atlantic was not easy.  Its forceful waves and rigorous currents presented many aquatic challenges, especially for a child.  However, since I was the only girl, I was not about to let my brothers outdo me.  Rather than buckle, I allowed the strong waves and my competitive spirit to make me a better a swimmer.

I do recall at least two frightening experiences, though.  One was a time when a particularly strong wave smashed into me unawares, taking me under and pinning me to the ocean floor for longer than was comfortable. 

The other was the time I encountered a small riptide.  Fortunately, my dad had prepared us by instructing about how to swim out of one.  However, the forceful pull happened so fast that by the time I realized it, I was already in water over my head, further away from shore.

Strategies for Staying Afloat in the Ocean

Following my dad’s instructions, I swam perpendicular to the current and broke free from its insidious grip.  Because I had so far to swim back to land, though, I tired quickly.  To conserve energy, I alternated swimming with floating on my back, a survival strategy when struggling to stay afloat.

I never felt afraid of losing my life, but it was a wake up call about the dangers of open sea swimming.

At times, the storms in life can make us feel like we won’t make it.  Very often, they ravish our hope and bring despair.  They require similar strategies for survival.

Strategies for Staying Above Despair

Like a riptide, devastating circumstances can come upon us suddenly, making us feel as though we are being pulled apart at the seams.  With their onslaught, they make life seem as though it is catapulting out of control.

Rather than succumb under the pressure, we can instead allow the Lord to lead us in a direction opposite the raging torrent.  With His help, our spirits can rise upward, perpendicular to the current.  In His presence, no more will the hurtful tide overwhelm.

Since the difficult problems of life do not always subside as quickly as they arrive, it is easy to grow weary.  To conserve energy, these are perfect opportunities for turning over and floating on your back, so to speak.  Of letting go of all the worries and frustrations, and staying afloat by fixing your eyes on Christ and resting in His embrace.

Remember.  God is always there to help you navigate the tide and equip you to stay above despair.  Through Him, we are not just survivors; we are over-comers.  He can even lift us up to walk on water!


“In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

This version of Oceans is different from what I have heard on the radio.  By a male artist, Hillsong United ‘Zion’

© Sue Nash/2014


24 thoughts on “Strategies for Staying Above Despair ~ Lessons From the Ocean

  1. Karina Susanto

    Dear sis Sue..
    I wanna print this out. .May I ? I don’t know why I am so thrilled read this..makes me ponder about something valuable.. I wanna read again even I will keep it on my mind..have a blessed morning to you,sis 🙂

  2. Erick

    Sue, Awesome post…love the analogy…It is rarely wise to rage against the current – far better to find a way out of it. God has a way of always showing us that way out and it usually means following Him rather than our pride. Love the video too!

    1. heavenlyraindrops Post author

      Thank you Erick. He does have a way out if only we will follow! I agree with the video. I had only heard the recent release on that song, and like it too, but I think this one is now my fav. 😊

  3. Anna Bachinsky

    “God is always there to help you navigate the tide and equip you to stay above despair. Through Him, we are not just survivors; we are over-comers.” Amen! This is so powerful and true.

    God wants so much more than for us to survive with Him but to also overcome and live a life of passion and purpose with Him. It’s so encouraging to know that He’s with us during every single storm we find ourselves in. Great post!

  4. Sella Irene | BeautifulWords

    This article reminds me that we are ready or not, the problem could come anytime as ocean waves. But as you have survived because of you remember the instruction of your daddy, we should always remember and do the word of God so that we can face the waves of life. Thank God because our Father always hold our hands.
    This post has been blessing to me. Thank you for sharing with us. Jesus bless you abundantly ((hugs))

  5. Rene Yoshi

    What a wonderful analogy! Having grown up near the ocean, too, as well as being in the process of teaching my daughter to swim and stay afloat, makes your analogy that much stronger. 😀

    1. heavenlyraindrops Post author

      Thank you Rene. God uses those difficult times in our lives to grow us stronger and to teach us to rely on Him. But just like those in the Atlantic, the waves of life can sure be tough! Awesome that you were a beach bum growing up, too!

      1. Rene Yoshi

        Yes, I was a beach bum, too, and miss the ocean. Not only were the Atlantic waves sometimes tough, but having to be careful of sharks, stingrays and jellyfish was something we had to be mindful of as well. So glad the Lord kept me safe while teaching me to rely on Him. \(^_^)/

  6. Pingback: Overcoming the Rip Current of Life | The Official Website of David G. Newby | The End-Time Revivalist | Life Development Strategist | Your Christian Empowerment and Personal Development Blog

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