Sometimes jumping off the deep end is the only way we learn how to trust.My daughter, Leah, was five. We were playing in the shallow end of our apartment pool, splashing each other, throwing a beach ball, enjoying a hot Southern summer afternoon. I dog paddled down towards the deep end (six-feet) and urged Leah to join me.
“Come on down, Leah, I want to show you something.” She crept into no man’s land, deliberately standing a few safe feet from the edge. Kids that age still obey their parents (most of the time).
“Leah, I want you to jump off the edge into my arms.” I held both my arms out in front of me with my palms up to give her a target. “I’ll catch you. I promise.”
“No, Daddy. I don’t want to.”
“What’s wrong, Leah. Daddy’s going to catch you. I won’t let anything happen to you.”
“I don’t want to go under water,” she protested.
“Sweetie, it will be all right. Daddy’s not going to let you get hurt. I’ll catch you, I promise.”
“No, Daddy. I’m afraid.”
“What are you afraid of, Leah?” I showed her my outstretched arms. “Look, jump right here. Into Daddy’s arms. I’ll catch you, I promise, and nothing’s going to hurt you. Your head will only be under water for a few seconds. Hold your breath and close your eyes and I’ll pull you right up.”
This discussion continued for several minutes. While we were sparring, a few kids at the pool with us were jumping into the water off the deep end, encouraging Leah to jump.
Finally, after our lengthy debate, Leah jumped into deep water for the first time and into Daddy’s arms. I caught her and her head went under for half a second. She bobbed to the surface with her eyes and mouth clamped shut.
“See?” I said. “Wasn’t that fun?”
She wiped the water off her face. “Yeah, Daddy. That was fun. Can we do it again?”
“Sure,” I said.
“My five-year-old spent the next 30 minutes jumping off the deep end into Daddy’s arms, giggling and squealing without a word about fear or doubt. She knew she’d get wet. She knew she’d go under water, but she also knew she could trust her daddy to catch her.
Don’t we do the same thing with God? God urges us throughout His word to trust Him. He wants to take care of us, show us His ways and lead us in the path He has set for us. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,” Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Over and over God proclaims His faithfulness. He keeps His promises. He is completely trustworthy.
Those of us who have jumped off the deep end during a crisis or a trial have found Him faithful and trustworthy. He catches us every time.
Why don’t we trust Him with every situation? With our whole lives? We get these crazy notions that our ways are better than His ways. One of the most dangerous things we say is, “I can handle this.” Or we forget the times He has been faithful. Or we slip back into our flesh, and we forget that He is always with us and we can trust Him.
God tells us, in Isaiah 43:1-3, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flames burn you. For I am your God, the Holy One of Israel.” Then in Isaiah 41:10, God promises, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” God’s word is full of His promises and assurances that He is faithful and we can trust Him with anything we face in life.
Jesus is in the deep water eagerly waiting to show us how much He loves us and how perfectly He can handle every situation we face in life.
He wants us to trust Him so much that He held out His arms for us and had them nailed wide open. Go ahead. Jump.
Do you have someone you can always trust with your deepest, darkest secrets? Your successes and failures? Jesus is waiting for you to trust Him with your life. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been. He loves you just as you are. If you’d like to know more about Jesus and what He can do when you trust Him, follow this link to learn more about Him and how to invite Him into your heart to be your Lord and Savior.
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