As a little girl, I remember long, hot summer days spent in our pool. I would be there from sun up to sun down, or so it seemed. My parents would often say I wasn’t their daughter, because by the end of the summer my skin had darkened at least three shades. But I loved the water. And I felt safe within the confines of that large round pool. Every area was the same depth. I knew that I wouldn’t drown. There were no surprises around the corner.
Some of my friends in the neighborhood had much larger, built in pools, with slides and diving boards. When they would invite me over for a swim, I often would just sit on the edge of the deep end, resting my feet in the water. I didn’t mind the slide much. Although when I did manage to use it, I secretly hoped that I would surface again.
But there was something intimidating about the diving board. I remember I would stand on the edge for what seemed like forever, as my friends impatiently beckoned me to jump. “1..2..3.. JUMP!” I would hang my toes off the edge of the board, bend my knees and ready myself. I was sure this time I was ready to take the plunge. But hidden fear would often hold me back as I gave up the thrill of jumping for sliding once again.
What was it about jumping that I feared? I was worried about my form. If I was going to jump, I wanted to do it gracefully. I didn’t want to make a huge splash. I wanted to fall effortlessly, unnoticed. And I wanted to always make sure the water would catch me. Sounds strange. I was standing over the water. Why wouldn’t I land there? Perhaps I was afraid I would fall too hard and belly flop. Or perhaps I was afraid that I would fall too deep and hit bottom.
Or was it that I was just afraid of falling?
Life is sort of like jumping. Sometimes God will ask us to jump, even though the landing is not in plain site. We are often called to take steps of faith without knowing exactly where we are going. But when we trust that the Father holds our hand, from the moment we jump, and that He is there to catch us if we fall, it makes jumping all the more exciting.
I can hear my Heavenly Father right now, “Are you ready? 1..2..3..JUMP! Come on, you can do it. I won’t let you fall.”
He will not let your foot slip–he who watches over you will not slumber; (Psalm 121:3)
I don’t mind jumping so much these days. For I know that my Heavenly Father goes with me and will catch me.