We never learn to swim in the shallow end. We get wet. We might even find relief. We can have fun splashing. We might even let our heads go underwater. But until we’re willing to get in the deep end, do we ever learn to stay afloat. We can only learn to tread when we can no longer touch. And it’s when we learn to swim that we can make any progress, find safety — or even better — save another who might be drowning. Learning to swim in the deep end of crisis, loss, injustice, uncertainty, and hardship is where we are transformed.

Every story of the bible that speaks to the great faith of God’s people involved transformation by being thrown into the deep end. After all, who wants the story of Noah without the flood…Daniel without the lion’s den…David without Goliath…or Jesus without the Cross?!?!?  It’s only when we’re willing to wade past where we feel like we’re in control that we are actually transformed. (Hebrews 11 lists a lot of triumphs but also ones who endured a lot.)

Understanding one's identity in Christ is perhaps the most transformational idea to grasp for every Christian. It uncovers the sacred lens that God views us rather than the perspective we have of ourselves. The fundamental theme of scripture is to be ‘One with God’. Like a marriage covenant, we have access to the same resources. We take on a new name. We make decisions not as ME but as WE. We learn to see ourselves in light of who Christ is. And so does our Heavenly Father. When we choose to become a Christian, God sees us in light of who Christ is, not as we are. To be “in Christ”, is to be a new creation. And the more we understand our identity, the more we understand our purpose. It’s my hope that our Rhythms of Generosity, Hospitality, Community, Renewal, Apprenticing, Gratitude, & Compassion — combined with the Holy Spirit — can be part of God’s transformation in each of us. Hopefully, that sounds like Good News!