John 5:1-9 describes a pool close to the Sheep Gate called Bethesda where people who were sick lay around the water, waiting for it to move. Occasionally an angel from the Lord went down into the pool and stirred the water. The first sick person to go into the pool after the water was stirred received healing from whatever disease he or she had. On Jesus' visit to Jerusalem for a religious festival, he went to the pool and talked with those gathered.
These verses are in my heart every time I swim. I usually swim laps five days a week, sometimes six. Before I begin, I take a few moments to sit on the edge of the pool, reaching in to swirl the water with my hands. I ask God to bless my swimming in whatever way God thinks I need. I thank God for the ability to move my limbs so I can exercise regularly.
Swimming is a metaphor for the way God holds me. The water supports me as I go from one side to the other multiple times. I receive comfort as the water glides over me with each movement I make. God is in the water for sure. I am never the same person when I finish my laps as when I began. God works through each stroke and kick, giving me what I need.
I also feel containment from the lane dividers and the circumference of the pool. Containment helps me feel secure and surrounded especially when I arrive with strong emotions needing boundaries.
I recently wrote the following prayer when I returned home from one of my swims.
"God in the water,
You give me what I need with each stroke and kick.
I breathe you in and give the water whatever I want.
You receive my words, you hold me.
You cleanse my soul and body with each lap.
God in the water, I worship you,
I praise your kindness and love. Amen."
A Question for Reflection: What passages of scripture do you see each day? How do your favorite verses come alive in every day life?