Wednesday, June 18, 2014

awkward jumps and strong words

He feels like a "big kid," but the pool rules say he's  not allowed on the water slide.   How can they know he's not "big enough?"  You cannot measure a boy's courage in inches-tall.  It seems so unfair!

The baby slide is no fun. He is the smallest of the big kids, and the biggest of the littles. He shows them his swimming skills while they cling to me in life jackets.  But his eyes wander to the deep end, where the big kids play. 

Maybe he will just show them all. There is no inch requirement on the diving board.  "Mom, can I jump off the diving board with the big kids?" 

I say he can, and he hops in line, smiling at the big kids, proving he's one of them.
Inches do not make the man. 
The line moves, and he struts forward.
He looks up. It is almost his turn.
Suddenly, his eyes are wide and his feet will not move. 

I hold my breath. 
If he turns away, he will be miserable. 
If they tease him, they could crush him.



They could crush him, but they don't.

They gather around him, nodding, saying kind words.
They were scared, too, once.


They make him laugh.


And those words, they get into his heart.
He carries those words up the stairs, and all along the long walk to the end of the board.


He stares down at the eleven feet of water for only a moment before he jumps.


Those words help him fly.

I nod my approval, and tell him he can stay with his siblings while the little ones and I return to the little pool. He smiles, knowing he made it to the next level.

The nervous little guy, surrounded by encouragers--I carried this picture in my heart all day long. 

Like my son, I am a "words" person- I like to receive love best through the words of others.  And when I am up against a challenge, when I am feeling like the littlest kid in the big pool, those words are strong muscles for my heart.

My Father knows me, and so he sends me encouragers when I need them. He sends me others who listen and pray and wait for me as God stretches me.  The best kind of friends are the friends that I can be "little" around; those who see my smallness and point to the big grace of our Big God.

Sometimes, God brings me to the edge of new pools, and tells me to jump into deep and terrifying waters.  

Repent.
Let that sin go.
Say it out loud.
Learn this.
Love like that.
Be still. 
Rest.
Trust me. 
Let go of that.
Less of everything else- more Jesus.

Trust me.

Sometimes, I move forward with my hand gripped tight around my coffee mug, scared of what's next, and praying that God wouldn't let me drown.  I remember the words of others, and the Words of God that surround me like the shouts of big kids at the pool. 

And... jump.


It might be awkward, but it's still a jump.

Faith is hard. Obedience can be terrifying.  And I won't say it feels like flying, but it does feel like growing, and trusting, and being upheld by the water of grace in new and scary territory. 

Grace, here too. 
Of course!
What else could I expect from this God?


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Have you been led to any new diving boards lately?
Have you discovered any new pools of grace in your life?
Keep your eyes open!
God can bless us in the most unexpected of places!


1 comment:

  1. With my oldest being 15 I feel like I'm facing a new diving board every week. I thank God for his baptism and for my husband who used to be young man of 15!

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