When our kids were little one of our favorite things to do as a family was go to the pool. It was inexpensive, close by, and relatively easy entertainment to pull off with three little ones. Our two girls were big fans of the water, but our son…not so much. He spent most of his time playing with his Hot Wheels cars along the side of the pool. That is, until one day, when it finally occurred to him that his sisters looked like they were having much more fun than he was having, and were a whole lot cooler! So, after surrendering to the heat, he decided to give jumping into the pool a try.
I remember his scared little face and outstretched arms reaching out to his Daddy while words of affirmation and encouragement were coming back at him. “You can do it buddy! I’ve got you. Don’t be scared!” Then, finally, after realizing he really could trust that his father would catch him, he jumped wholeheartedly into his Daddy’s arms. Laughter, smiles, and hugs followed. Needless to say, the hot wheels didn’t come to the pool much more after that! Spencer had finally realized that it was worth it to push through the fear, and make the leap!
Every time we, as Jesus followers, exchange fear and doubt for faith in the promises of God breathed on us through His Word, we jump into the arms of our Heavenly Father. We build up our ability to “jump” when we have an active, growing relationship with God, trust in how much He cares for us, and believe He has our best interests in mind. Let’s face it, our son would never have leapt into his father’s arms if he didn’t trust and believe that his Daddy loved him very much and would not bring harm to him! His feet would have stayed superglued to the cement.
The same is true for you and me. God lovingly stretches out His arms to us, speaking affirmations of grace and love through His Word, and eventually we have to loosen our grip and surrender ourselves into His loving arms, believing that what He says is truth and for our good. Life is tough, painful, and downright frustrating sometimes, but there is a big, big hug of promise waiting for us one day that will be fulfilled if we surrender and “jump.” I just love how this promise is described plain and simple in The Message version of 2 Corinthians 4:17:
“So we’re not giving up! How could we? Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”
Knowing and believing this amazing promise gives us the courage and hope we need to “jump”, because we know it’s worth it.