Swimming in the Deep End
The Lord is my light and the One Who saves me. Whom should I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom should I be afraid?
My three-year old son, Owen, stood by the side of the pool, pondering whether he trusted his daddy enough to jump into his arms in the shallow end of the pool.
Owen knows his daddy loves him. He knows his daddy provides for him. He even knows how much his daddy enjoys him. But does he know he can trust his daddy enough to jump into his arms in a place where his only hope is his daddy catching him?
As Owen pondered what to do, my husband said things like, "Owen. It's okay buddy. Don’t be afraid. You can trust daddy. Jump into my arms. I love you and I promise I’ll catch you." And as Owen listened I saw his courage increase. His heart was softening. His guard was coming down. His trust was growing. He was slowly moving towards the edge of the pool, toes now dangling over the side, preparing to jump into His Father’s arms.
As I watched this scenario play out, I was reminded that reading the Bible does to my own soul what my husband’s words were doing to my son’s soul. As I meditate on God’s word, my courage increases ~ my heart softens ~ my guard comes down ~ and my trust grows.
When I am on the side of the pool, desiring to surrender my fear and doubt for the courage to trust in God, I run to His word. It is there that I find my Heavenly Father saying, “Don’t be afraid. You can trust your Father. Jump into my arms. I love you and I promise I will catch you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
But do you know when Owen’s trust in His father really increased? Do you know when he knew with certainty that he could trust His daddy wholeheartedly?
When he jumped.
When Owen jumped and his father did exactly as he promised he’d do - Catch him. That’s when Owen knew deep down, “I can trust my father.”
When Owen took the plunge and jumped into his daddy’s arms, his daddy caught him and hugged him and held him close. Then he tossed Owen into the air and caught him again, and their laughter exploded simultaneously.
“Do it again Daddy - Do it again,” Owen squealed. He now knew how amazing it felt to trust his father and be carried in his loving arms. And he wanted more.
And each time Owen jumped into His daddy’s arms, Owen was willing to let his Daddy go a little further and a little further into the deep end. The shallow waters of trust no longer felt scary. He began learning to trust his daddy in the deep end as well.
Isn’t that a lot like how we learn to trust Jesus? Stepping out in faith, our trust grows as we experience His unfailing faithfulness to us. Is there a place in your life where Jesus is inviting you to trust Him- where He is calling to you, "Don’t be afraid. You can trust your Father. Jump into my arms. I love you and I promise I will catch you.”
But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.
Since the crisis we experienced in the storm Sandy almost five months ago, “trusting Jesus” has taken on whole new meaning to me.
I was used to jumping into the shallow waters of trust most of the time. Don’t get me wrong, there have been a few distinct times in my life where I’ve had to trust in deep and muddy water – times where I thought my heart would never heal, and my hope and joy would never be restored – but most of my life has been trusting Jesus in the shallow waters. In water where, if I’m being honest, I felt I could swim to safety if He let me go.
But the trust Jesus wants to plant and water in our souls is a trust that knows His faithfulness in the deep end – where the water is so deep and we are so far from safety, that our only option is ………. to trust. And by His grace and the power of His Spirit, we CAN learn to trust Him this way.
Our hope comes from God. May He fill you with joy and peace because of your trust in Him. May your hope grow stronger by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Trust in the shallow waters prepares us for trust in the deep end. Reading God’s word strengthens our trust. And jumping into His arms in the deep end assures us that He is indeed faithful. Though our faith is most often stretched and tested in the deep end, isn’t it also here that we taste His grace most sweetly?
It has been for me. I’ve never tasted the sweetness of His grace like I have in the last five months, as He carried our family through the unknown and to the other side. We are finally “home” again. I’ve never been more certain of His intimate awareness and sovereignty over every little detail of my life. Having to swim in the deep end of trust very much feels like it was His gift to me. I know what it feels like to be carried in His strong competent arms and I can say with full confidence, there is simply nothing better than being in the arms of Jesus.
Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds. Exult in his holy name; rejoice, you who worship the Lord. Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him. Remember the wonders he has performed, his miracles, and the rulings he has given.
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