This is Richard and me at the YMCA pool. We’ve been working on his swimming AGAIN, and we practice twice a week.
“FOR WITH GOD NOTHING SHALL BE IMPOSSIBLE.” (Luke 1:37)
This is Richard’s story. Around last fall, Richard came to join us in the YMCA water aerobics class. Was he a sight to behold! We use the shallow end of the pool to do our exercises where we can all easily stand in the water. Somehow this gentleman managed to get into the pool all geared up with a pair of goggles on top of his head, swim fins on his feet and a foam flotation belt secured around his waist. The lifeguards and everyone had their eyes on him! With some convincing, he took the fins and goggles off and left his float belt on, so began his water exercises with us mostly senior women and another gentleman much younger than he.
At 80 plus years old, Richard hangs out at the YMCA like most of us ‘regulars’ and uses the machines and equipment that he can handle for his age and ability. Then he heard about the water class and joined us to work out with water resistance apparatus, balance and coordination and other exercises. With him being the oldest man in the class and an affable person, he relished all the doting upon him and our teasing. Not surprising for his age, he wears a back support when not in the water. Since starting the class we have noticed that he, like the rest of us, has gained better body coordination and flexibility, strength and stamina from coming regularly to class.
Since he stayed for a few minutes after class watching a few of us swim, I got to talk to him and found out that as a young man he swam competitively and even won awards! But after marriage, raising a family, etc. he stayed away from swimming for well over 30 years.
So Richard became ‘my project’ so to speak, to help him boost his confidence that he could swim again, and bring back to his remembrance the long lost joy of swimming and to regain skills he once had. In the last several months we worked on learning to breathe between strokes, use his arms and legs in synchronization. In the beginning, he tried to swim with his floater on. Finally when he took it off, he would start swimming from the 4′ mark in the middle of the pool and would run out of breath before reaching the shallow end. He was holding his breath a good while because he was not able to lift his head out of the water yet.
Then we progressed to counting the strokes and taking a breath each time; his freestyle form began to improve; his arms and legs were strong as he propelled himself through the water. I would tell him, “It’s coming back, Richard, you’re remembering how you used to swim!” I was his main cheerleader and soon others around the pool began to join me in praising his efforts as he continued to improve over these past months. When Richard reverted to holding his breath, I would say, “Try it again. This time, REMEMBER TO BREATHE! BREATHE EVERY 3rd STROKE! BREATHE, RICHARD!” He was becoming more confident and it began to come together for him.
Two weeks ago I told him that he would soon be ready to try the full length of the pool. Last Thursday after class I started my laps and didn’t know that he was in the next lane over and he caught up with me at the deep end! I could not believe it and I was shouting! We were both overjoyed!!! I let him catch his breath, and we swam back together, he in his lane and me in mine! He and I celebrated with hugs and high 5’s and there was a small commotion! His ego has gone up 10 plus notches as he has gained the admiration of so many people. He told me, “I LOVE THE WATER!” He has seen me doing the backstroke, so that’s what we’re going to work on next!
Richard’s story confirms to me that WITH GOD’S HELP (like I never coached an adult in swimming ever before), ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. This is the scripture I claim for him and myself as well as for all of you seniors out there. . .
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Do you have a need today? Reach out and touch Jesus as He passes by! Darrell Creswell writes one of my favorite inspirational blogs! God bless you, Darrell for sharing this!
Jesus has provided healing for us, and by His stripes we have received that healing. Whatever the issue in your life is of sickness, or maybe you are dealing with financial, marital, personal or spiritual issues – Jesus is your healing. The following is paraphrased from Luke 8.
Jesus was traveling and speaking to a large gathering of people. In the crowd there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with a hemorrhage that caused her to have an issue of blood all the time. She had spent every penny she had on doctors and cures that never worked and nothing had been able to help her to stop the bleeding. She saw Jesus and believed if she could touch Him she will be healed.
She made her way through the crowd and slipped in from behind Him and touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. At that…
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God hears and answers prayers. Here are some testimonies about how Jesus is the same yesterday, and today, and forever! Hebrews 13:8
Elisha & the Shunammanite Woman. Before I tell you about happy new grandparents in the Philippines, and a young couple in Hawaii, let me share with you an Old Testament story of the prophet Elisha and a wealthy woman. The woman and her husband hosted Elisha whenever he came to their town, providing him with food and a place to stay. Elisha, through his servant Gehazi, asked if there was something he could do for the woman in return for her kindness. The servant told the prophet that she had no child, and her husband was old. Elisha then called for the woman and prayed for her, telling her she would have a baby by “this time the next year”. She laughed and said he was joking with her. But the woman conceived, and a year later, just as Elisha had said, she had a son (paraphrased from 2Kings 4:16,17).
The Happy New Grandparents. Back in 2008 in Santa Rosa-Laguna, Southern Luzon, Pastors Domeng & Fely Sarmiento invited us to speak at their To God Be the Glory Church mid-week prayer meeting. When Wyman asked the people what did they want Jesus to do for them, the Sarimentos had a special request- that God would bless them with grand-children, as their daughter who was married 9 years, and also another married son, had no children. Then in Jan 2012 the Sarmientos excitedly invited us to speak at their church again. When we got to their Wednesday night meeting, they brought their three young grandchildren and presented them to us- a baby and two toddlers that the Lord had since given them! They were children of their daughter and son! PTL! We had a wonderful prayer meeting that night and many came to the Lord with their prayer needs. Some were looking for jobs, some for healing, some for a spouse, and a couple also wanted a baby. We prayed with all of them and believed with them that God would answers all of their prayers!
The Realtor & Her Attorney Husband. In late 2007, the Lord told us to move from our condominium near the beach to a much larger one near the mountain. We arranged for a realtor to sell our former place, and after signing the agreement, Wyman asked the realtor what did she want God to do for her, that we could pray for. She said she had been married for seven years since age 30, and for the last four years had been wanting to have a child, but without success. She had tried in vitro fertilization, but it was not successful. Her husband is an attorney, and both of his parents were practicing physicians; his father, a prominent heart specialist in Hawaii. Wyman told her nothing is impossible with God, and we both prayed for her. Wyman, remembering the story of Elisha the prophet and the Shunammite woman, told her by the time our place is sold, she would have a child. About June 2008, she told us that she found a buyer for our condo and that she was also pregnant! In Feb 2009, the realtor gave birth to a beautiful and handsome son! God answered all of our prayers and blessed this young couple mightily. But not only that, while the attorney’s parents had grand daughters, it was their first grandson that would carry on their family name! Praise God! God really answers prayer!