As a matter of fact, it happened last week on vacation and struck a pretty powerful chord with me.
Our family went to a lake for our first ‘swim’ since last summer, which is always a very exciting time. My five year old is ‘learning’ to swim, but still relies on water wings/arm floats at this point. Well, I helped him get on the water wings, he ran out into the water, and then started showing some pretty clear signs of frustration.
You know – slapping the water with his hand, groaning, blaming something insignificant on his sister who was swimming about 10 yards away from him.
So I asked him what was wrong and he answered. “I can’t swim in these things.”
“Look.” He lowered his body down into the water, but only far enough so that the water made it to his upper chest. Then he caught himself before he could sink any lower and groaned. “See, they don’t work.”
“Well, you have to go deeper into the water before those floaties will hold you up, Samuel. They can’t show you how they’ll hold you up until you go deep enough for them to show you.”
“I can’t. They won’t work.”
“They will, just like they did last year. Remember.”
It took another ten minutes of reassurance before he slipped in the water and fell forward – then…
the water wings held his face out of the water.
How many times are we just like my 5 year old?
Life gets tough. The troubles crowd around us, burying us up to our shoulders in insecurities, fear, and worry.
Sometimes trusting God in the middle of those waters is like Samuel with the floaties. We have to let go to ‘feel’ Him catch us.
He’s always there – already holding us up, but in moments of greatest trial we feel his strength all the more.
It’s kind of like that age-old story about the Footprints in the Sand. When our lives were at the toughest, that’s when Christ carried us.
It’s so easy to resort to ‘trusting’ ourselves – and putting more faith in our skills than in the One who made us.
And God used that opportunity with my son to remind me that He’s always holding me – even when I let go 🙂