In college I was on a water polo intramural team, and have to say it might be the most intense sport I’ve ever played. It’s absolutely exhausting! 

I can’t wait to watch the very best of this impressive sport play in the Rio Olympics. These incredible water polo players have the ability to throw, pass, catch, and defend – all while swimming and treading water. The physicality and athleticism of the sport are truly remarkable…and I’m just talking about the aspects you can see.

The craziness actually happens beneath the surface. Guys try to stay afloat while kicking rapidly and attempting to score a goal with the defenders grabbing, shoving, and almost tackling them. So much of the strategy, and what players try to hide, take place below.

 When a goal is scored, you can see the beauty of the passing and the shot, but it’s hard to really understand what’s going on underneath the water.

 I find in life, there is a lot going on in people’s lives that everyone sees, but there is even more going on that nobody realizes. Every day we interact with people who are hurting, hiding, or lying about who they are and how they are.

We want the outside world to see us a certain way and we do our best to appear just fine. We judge people based on what we see, but very rarely do we go deep enough with them to actually know what’s occurring in their lives.

When we put more of an emphasis on someone’s outward appearance, instead of the condition of their heart, we miss out on what is really happening with them.

 The Bible says in 1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV), “…For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

 I believe that as followers of Jesus we should be concerned about our own heart and the hearts of others. By trying to go deeper, we can start recognizing the brokenness that so many people are dealing with.

When watching water polo during the Rio Olympics, let’s keep in mind this challenging game consists of much more than meets the eye. The same goes for people. Let’s make an effort to discover what really lies beneath the surface. I’m Bryce Johnson and you can unpack that!

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, forgive me for focusing too much on the appearances of others and myself. Help me to remember how much is going on below the surface of those I interact with. Please give me the strength to be genuine when I share what’s really going on with me. I’m thankful for Jesus and the grace I’ve been shown. In His name I pray, Amen.