Posted in Comfort
Scripture: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
Summer as we know it is just about behind us, which will provide some relief from the heat that we are so famously known for. Heat that can only be mitigated by air conditioning or a good pool. My family spends a good bit of time at the pool, and one of my favorite things to do is to watch families interact with one another. I see many ways in which we are different and a lot of ways in which all are similar. Let’s see if any of this might sound familiar. I’ll set the scene.
Mom, Dad, and Junior are enjoying a day at the pool. For most of the morning, Mom has followed Junior around as Junior deals with severe indecision as to whether he wants to be in the big pool or the baby pool. Mom is getting a Crossfit level workout climbing in and out of each of the pools with Junior in her arms. This pattern is broken only by Junior’s need to enjoy some animal crackers and a juice box and especially two-thirds of what Mom may have brought for her own enjoyment. All has been well packed in a bag by Mom along with enough sunscreen to coat the Midlands. Dad has had a great day at the pool thus far talking with a number of his local buddies about football, golf, and everything in between. Dad, not being a rookie at this point, will regularly ask Mom if everything is “OK,” and it has been until he senses an unavoidable amount of exasperation in her latest response. It’s time for Dad to act because failure to respond to this cue could have far-reaching consequences. Yep, it’s time for Dad to take over Junior for a while so that Mom can “relax.”
Now that Dad has taken possession of Junior, Mom sits down in the pool chair with a sigh of relief and begins to read a well-worn magazine that has traveled extensively, but she has yet to read a word of it because of the demands of Junior. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees Dad begin to peel off Junior’s floaties and that piques some concern. Suddenly, the magazine hits the deck because something is happening. Dad is now coaxing Junior, floatie free, to the edge of the pool. In his infinite fatherly wisdom, Dad has decided that, today, Junior must learn to jump into the pool. As the scene begins to unfold, Mom now mutters something not fit for a devotional followed by, “I can’t have a moment.” She removes her sunglasses and is now sitting upright on the edge of the chair. Mom is doing her level best to remain calm and unnoticed, but she appears more like a cheetah ready to pounce on prey. We have outright high drama unfolding poolside.
Junior is excited about the idea of his first dive, initially. He brings his toes to the edge of the pool and begins to lean forward until he suddenly steps away and looks back at Mom. This goes on for a fair amount of time with Dad coaxing him back with the promise that, “I have you. I would never let anything happen to you.” Dad wonders to himself why Junior doesn’t understand that he would die at the bottom of that pool before he ever let harm come Junior’s way … and that a whole community around him would jump in if need be to protect him. Finally, recognizing that it might just be safe, Junior jumps in, and Dad whisks him to the surface. The joy on Junior’s face in recognizing that he is safe is priceless.
Friends, we chuckle at the thought of Junior’s poolside dive and the trepidation he had, but how many of us are just like Junior when it comes to our Christian faith? We venture to the edge of the pool, we stick our toes over, but our fears take hold, and we go back to what we believe to be safe ground — but still feel unfulfilled by not taking the jump. We cling to earthly things, perhaps stick a toe in from time to time, but yet ignore the reassuring voice of the Father calling and reaching out to us. We hesitate to give more of our gifts back, but don’t we know that we have a community around us that will protect us and aid us if we have need? We hang on to our burdens, pains, and sufferings, but don’t we know that we have Someone there eagerly awaiting to bear the weight of those for us? We fail to truly leap into a relationship with God, but don’t we know that He is the Father that did die for us before he would ever let eternal harm come our way?
Friends, I pray that you take the leap and cast aside your fears. There is a joy and excitement which awaits you upon knowing that we have a Father that will keep his promise to protect you and keep you from harm.
Prayer: Lord, make us brave in our giving back. Help our faith grow to new heights by trusting that You will protect us and joy awaits. Amen.
Submitted by: Stuart Lee