Feel like you’re drowning?

This is a guest post by my friend Andy Mason, founder of Dream Culture and Global Transformation Institute, Bethel Church, Redding

For some reason I woke in the early hours of Saturday morning when I should have been deep asleep. I then began to over-think all the tasks, projects and developments that were growing in urgency. In the early morning even my tasks grew their own sub-tasks and projects started to multiply. I began to feel anxiety rising in my belly and knew I would drown in it if I didn’t do something. I got quietly out of bed and headed to the living room where I knew I needed to read His word until I heard His voice.

Andy Mason's picture - when you feel like you're drowning

I started reading in the middle of Isaiah and a couple chapters through I heard His voice:
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.”

One word from Him changes everything. I will not be overwhelmed because He is with me. Peace returned. I have what it takes to succeed. He is with me.

That reminded me of a real-life experience when we had not long been in Redding (from New Zealand). I was out running with a buddy around a section of the Sacramento River Trail. The trail goes up one side of the river, crosses a foot bridge and returns on the other to mark off 5.4 miles.  It was the first 100 degree day of the Spring and I was feeling the heat. The cool waters rushing beside us were becoming increasingly inviting as a means to short cut the run, as well as outwit the climate. Coming from New Zealand, I was ignorant of the conditions and reputation of the Sacramento. I was about to find out.

The Sacramento River is designed to draw water from lower parts of the Shasta Dam in order to maintain the temperature at 48-52 degrees (8-10 Celsius) for the Salmon. It is also known for its deceptively fast current that claims the lives of a number of unsuspecting individual’s each year. Ignorance is NOT bliss.

My running buddy continued towards the footbridge and I started to make my way into the water. By the time I realized it was a lot colder than I’d imagined, I was also experiencing the much faster current and deeper water. The contrast of temperatures and influence of the cold caused my body to go into shock and I started to hyper-ventilate (shorter breaths – not helpful when trying to swim). This means my feet and arms weren’t working like I expected and I started to freak out. I saw images of my body washing ashore downstream and thoughts of how my family would survive without their dad ….

I can’t honestly say I thought much else but cried out “JESUS” and took the biggest stroke I could. The next thing I was through the fast water and in the slower and manageable current of the opposite side of the river from where I started. That was a miracle. A few minutes later and I was on the bank, wildly relieved, thankful to my Saviour and now grateful for the 100 degree heat! Even an hour after arriving home from the ‘run’ I was still physically shaking from the ordeal. But I was alive…and smarter.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.”

I don’t know what you are facing right now or how overwhelmed you may feel but I know He is faithful to answer you. Your situation is not too difficult for Him. It’s irrelevant whether you brought this situation on yourself or others helped you into it. He paid for your situation in full, period. He restored the standard. He has forgiveness and wisdom and comfort and healing and anything else you may need in order to thrive. Just ask. He will not let you drown.


Andy Mason comes from New Zealand and has 15+ years experience helping individuals and organizations discover and align with purpose, then develop practical steps to make dreams a reality. He has worked for a national consultancy firm and leading financial institution as well as investing in international community development. Andy is the director of Heaven in Business and together with his wife, Janine, leads Dream Culture – a movement catalysing people to discover and live their dreams. Andy and Janine live with their four children in Redding, Ca.

Global Transformation Institute

Bethel Church
933 College View Dr
Redding, Ca 96003


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  1. Leanne

    Sniff sniff thanks for sharing there is so much power in your testimony I was just randomly reading the comments then POW just what I needed to hear. I love the way Holy Spirit can appear from no where and fill the room so gently full of love and hope.

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