Off The Deep End

Two Saturdays ago was a really special day in the Richard household. After a fun time of rotating my tires, we took the kids to the mall for a bit of shopping in preparation of the girls' trip to Michigan in a week and a half. (Even I got some stuff. A couple shirts and a cool pair of shorts!) After that, we swung by Toys 'R Us for Jayden's gifts for his birthday, and some good grade gifts for all. We rounded out the trip by grocery shopping at Walmart.

That was when the fun was to begin. After returning home, we put the swimsuits on and headed to the pool. Timmy and the girls spent some water time in water wings. But then the girls took them off and practiced swimming. I have to say, I'm impressed with their progress. Machaela was doing great, actually off swimming all by herself. That's a big deal. She just learned how to swim in the past couple weeks.

Timmy took a big step, too. Usually, he hangs not just in the shallow end, he stays on the pool steps. He was afraid of the water big time. And he'd freak out if I took him out deeper and away from those steps. Even with the water wings, Timmy wanted nothing to do with deeper water. So today, I took him screaming out of his comfort zone. I took him out in about 3 1/2 feet of water and made him swim to me with the water wings. He spent most of the time screaming and begging for the stairs. But by the time I needed to move on to his brother, he was having a blast. But the story isn't over just yet...

Machaela was next. She's come a long way, but she needs to practice where she can't touch bottom easily. So, I made her get out with me, and I jumped in the 9 foot end off the deck. I helped her in the pool, and she was swimming in the deep end! Not only did she successfully do it, she wanted to go back!

I think that God is a "deep-end" God. God calls us, like Peter, to step out of the boat-the boat that represented safety and comfort. He calls us to follow Him in faith.

Faith is total trust in God. Thanks to much of Christian media these days, we get a skewed version of faith. We are taught by many preachers that faith is the magic formula to get the things we want. We're told that if we have enough faith, God will shower us with our desires, like money, cars, etc. It always seems to be material things that are pushed. Or it's healing. "If you only had enough faith, God would heal that cancer!", or whatever disease plagues us humans. Friends, God does bless us. And God heals. God does honor faith. But faith isn't the magic wand that moves God. Faith is trusting God. Faith swims where our feet can't touch bottom.

Jonathan represented this kind of total faith. While the army of his father, the king, sat idly around waiting for another sign from God, Jonathan decided to simply attack the enemy God commissioned them to destroy. With only his armor-bearer with him, he stepped out in faith and went to battle. His only thought prior to advancing? "Perhaps God will work for us." Notice that he didn't sit down with his men and discuss it. There was no board room session or counsel to guide him. It was total trust in God, not knowing the outcome. He dove in the deep end. And God honored Jonathan's faith by giving him and his armor-bearer a huge victory.

It's easy to sit on the pool steps all day. And you can feel as if you are really swimming. But you aren't swimming till you leave the poolside and get your legs off the bottom of the pool. A life of faith isn't meant for the shallow end. My kids took a chance and trusted their daddy. They had the blessing of success. Won't you do the same with your heavenly Father?