Swimming was a rare treat in the isolated area where sun and sand dominated the seasons and few residents there.

Roberta and her sons were packing suits and a picnic for a trek miles away to a ranch with a private pool.  The inviting oasis was open to the community.

As Coty watched the family pack the car, he remembered the shady picnic cabana, tall shady palms, and sparkling blue water. He’d only been there once. Coty grabbed his suit and stepped up to the grown-up with hope in his heart.

“Can I come, too? My mom says its okay.”

“Coty,” Roberta asked the eight-year-old, “It’s a great day to cool off in the pool. Can you swim?”

It isn’t unusual in the land-locked children in poverty areas not to be able to swim. Paved roads are rare. Water is even more unusual.

“Yep!” he grinned, oozing confidence. “I’m terrific!”

When they got to the pool, Coty ran to the water.

“How well did you say you swim?” Roberta wanted to know.

“Real good!”

“So, as good as you say you are–will you be training someday for the summer Olympics?” Roberta kidded him.


“Yes. That’s where people from all over the world swim and dive.”

“Yeah, cool. Now watch me!”

Coty jumped feet first into the shallow end, creating an impressive splash. Then he started moving across the water, his arms stroking out a rhythm. Just as he got to the incline leading to the deep end, he stopped.

“Need some help?” Roberta offered. “I can meet you on the other side of the deep water.”

“Nope, this is my favorite part of the pool.” He
indicated the shallow end.

Then Coty turned around and stroked his way back to the ladder. Roberta noticed that no matter where he “swam,” his feet never left the bottom of the pool.

Just as Jesus promises us, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age,” [Matthew 28:20] through anything in our path, we and Coty as well can be confident that Jesus also means, “I am with you always, even to the end of the pool.”

And with a coach like Jesus in your life, you’re swimming with the champ.

[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, buttontogod.dev. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]





About Jo Russell

Jo’s humor, inspirational stories, articles and devotionals have spanned more than 40 years, with several national writing contest awards for humor. She's a contributing author in Chicken Soup for the Soul—Shaping the New You and Heavenly Humor for the Dieter’s Soul.

Contact Jo

Find Jo on Twitter and Facebook. To schedule Jo as a speaker or to discuss your writing project and receive a free quote, call her at 928-536-2479. Or contact her using the website Contact Form.

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