when i was younger, my family had a pool. it wasn't fancy - one of those above ground barely over four feet deep kinda pools. but some of my sweetest memories of my father are in that pool. every weekend we spent swimming together as a family - my mom perched on a float, her legs dangling over the edge of the pool, her middle swollen with child and her arms blocking the sun from her face. my sister and i swimming laps and racing and jumping and splashing - sometimes we felt more comfortable under water than above.
but my favorite thing - the thing that would make my heart jump and squeal - would be standing on the edge of the fuzzy deck, waiting for my dad to give me the signal. i'd close my eyes, count to ten, and ignoring the rush of butterflies let loose in my stomach, i'd jump.
i'd jump because i know he was there.
but wait. there's something important here. let me see if i can paint this picture accurately for you because i don't want you to miss it. there's me - on the deck - knees knocking together with excitement and quiet giggles escaping my mouth. there's my father - hands stretched out towards me - beckoning me to trust and take the leap. he never once told me he'd catch me, and most times i'd end up touching the bottom of the pool before resurfacing - but i always ended up in his arms. he always reached down and grabbed me from the water, lifting me above his head and pulling me close to his chest. always.
and this was my favorite part.
is it any wonder i have a hard time taking leaps of faith now? is it any wonder, in my own limits of who God is and what he can do through me, i cling to safety and protection and comfort?
i remember the thrill of the leap. i remember the rush of crashing into the water only to have my daddy rescue me - pulling me to safety in his arms. i remember laughing while sputtering and clearing the hair from my eyes, begging for him to do it again. i would anxiously await my turn for another chance to jump in feet first.
i don't know if i can say that about me now. i know i too often look the other way. i know too often i find the stairs and walk in the water that way - slowly, gingerly, preparing my body for the cold in a way that breeds comfort. sometimes i just stick my feet in, barely getting them wet, and then move on my way - too distracted and busy to really get deep.
i think He's calling. i can hear Him in the distance - crying out for me to trust Him - reminding me He is always there. even if i don't have floaties to keep my head above water, He will always pull me to safety.
The safety of His arms.
Are you needing to jump in deep with me? May we never be too comfortable to jump to our Father's arms.