The Joey Chronicles – Philippians / “Swimming Class”
When Pastor John was growing up he had an
imaginary friend named Joey.
These are growing up stories told from Joey's point of view!
Grace Kids will be having a movie night at Pastor John’s house Thursday June 30 at
Memorize the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23) and win a special prize!
Joey sat in the locker room listening to splashing and yelling from the pool next door. He wanted to be out there so bad with his friends in swimming class.
But the teacher had just kicked him out.
He still couldn’t believe it. But here he sat, with nothing left to do but put on his street clothes and wait for the others.
That class had started like any other. Joey was friends with the swimming instructor and always went over to her house for lunch before class. And every week she would make cream of tomato soup with saltine crackers and a glass of milk.
Joey loved sticking his spoon into the steaming soup and stirring the tomato and cream together so that they made swirls on the surface before he took his first spoonful.
Swimming class always began with paddle practice. After Joey showered and got up the nerve to plunge into the cooler water of the pool, he went to the side, grabbed on with both hands and followed teacher’s instructions.
“Push out with your hands!”
“Straighten those legs! I don’t want to see you bend your knees!”
“Now kick your legs up and down for forty seconds. Don’t stop until I tell you!”
After 20 seconds Joey’s legs started to burn but he kept going by focusing on his hands and listening to the splashes and groans of his classmates.
“Times up! Now push off from the side and let’s practice holding our breath.”
Joey liked this part. He could hold his breath for a long time and it was so quiet and peaceful under the water as he held his nose with one hand and waved to his friends with the other.
As he came out of the water he heard, “OK class - time for something new. Gather ‘round me!”
“Today we are going to learn how to dive off of the side. Now I want you to get out of the pool and curl your toes over the edge. Then put your arms over your head, push off with your toes, and keep your head down as you dive.”
“Here’s how to do it.” The teacher got out of the pool, walked to the edge, and dove in with only a slight ripple of the water.
“See? And one more thing. I will be down below to catch you when you dive!”
So the class lined up and one by one. They curled their toes over the pool’s edge and pushed off into the waiting arms of the instructor. Some kept their heads down, some did big belly flops that made Joey laugh.
Then it was Joey’s turn.
He curled his toes over the edge, put his arms over his head, and then he looked down.
That’s where it all started. It was so FAR! Joey felt like he was so high it would take forever to hit the water. He started to get dizzy and stumbled backward.
“Joey, I am right here. Remember I will catch you. You can trust me. You don’t have to be afraid!”
Joey tried again. And again. And again. His friends started to snicker and sat down by the pool.
“Go Joey! You can do it!”
But Joey couldn’t do it.
That’s when his teacher said, “Joey, we have tried this over and over. And until you trust me enough to catch you I am going to have to kick you out of swim class. Now go get your clothes on and wait for us in the lobby.”
With his head hung in shame, Joey walked out of the pool to the locker room.
In the book of Philippians the Apostle Paul tells his friends “I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.” (Phil. 4:13 Living Letters)
Paul was saying that even though he had been shipwrecked, gone hungry, been bitten by a snake, been put in jail he had strength and power to get through those things. Because he always said, “Jesus I trust you.”
Jesus says that He will always be there to catch us when it is time to dive off the edge of the pool. The only thing we need to do His trust Him. He will always be with us!
Have you trusted in Jesus? Do you believe He will always catch you? Joey finally did go back to swim class and dive into the pool. And guess what, his teacher caught him just like she said she would!
Can you memorize this verse?
“I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.” (Phil. 4:13 Living Letters)