A year before we stood in the same spot but the conversation was oh, so different. This time instead of me trying to calm his fears and encourage him to follow through, he taught me a lesson about faith.
It happened so quickly, I couldn’t help but be thankful that this nugget of faith and truth had lodge itself in his heart. He immediately tested his faith by putting it into action and then tested mine as well, without even knowing it.
It all began the year before when my son said that he wanted to jump off the diving board, but he wanted me to come with him. Ok, no problem. We walked over to the low diving board together. He grabbed the rails, took a step up and froze. As he looked over the long board, I realized what was about to happen. So I started to encourage him with all the motherly, logical wisdom I can give him:
- There is no need to be afraid.
- Your wearing floaties so you will just pop back up like a cork in the water.
- It’s just like jumping off the side of the pool and you’ve done that a thousand times.
- You know….all the things we normally say to get our kids to propel themselves into a large body of water when they are scared out of their wits.
Needless to say, he climbed back down, looked at me with defeated eyes and took several steps back. We talked for a few more minutes. And then I did the only other thing I knew to do, I showed him that he would be perfectly fine by jumping off the board myself.
For me it wasn’t a faith walk, but one of experience. Wait…but in a way our faith is one of experience, right? It’s either based on our own experiences or the experiences we’ve heard others recount to us, either by mouth or through biblical text.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
After I jumped, courage started to build in his little heart, but he still wasn’t ready to jump by himself. Pool rules dictated it wasn’t an option for us to jump together but I could be in the pool and he could jump to me. So that’s what we did. I once again jumped off the diving board and then he very slowly made his way out to the edge of the board and jumped near to my arms.
He needed to see my experience play out in real life in front of him. No amount of words would convince him he would be ok until he saw me do it and he knew I would be by his side when he tried.
Don’t we get the same way with God? Trepidation overcomes us and we cower back. Others try to convince us that God has us in the palm of His hand. If He calls us to something, He will walk us through it. But it’s not until we’ve witness God walking with us or with someone else that we start to believe it.
Having Faith & Testing It
My son no longer wears floaties and as soon as we arrived at the pool he said he wanted to jump off the diving board. I walk over to cheer him on. This time without hesitation, he grabs the rails of the low dive, walks the length of the board and jumps!
He climbs out of the pool and with the quickest speed walk that’s allowed at a pool, he whisks by me, heading toward the high dive and says,
“Now, I’m going to do to the high dive. I would be scared but I know how to swim!”
His second jump off a diving board ever without a floatie and he decides to jump off the high dive! Needless to say, I thought we would have a repeat of what happened the year before on the low dive. But I was wrong!
The Faith of a Child
And there it is! My son’s faith in action. He didn’t even let fear take root because he knew he had the ability to swim.
Do we trust God’s ability the same way?
Mentally we might say, “Yes!” But have we let that truth sink into our hearts? There is a difference. This difference I witnessed in my son climbing up the high dive and then jumping off because he knew how to swim! His second time ever to jump off a diving board without a floatie and he did it! Then he did it again, and again, and again for the next hour.
When we trust God and show our faith by jumping into what he has planned for us, it then becomes easier and easier to follow Him. Why? Because we know God will provide a way for us to swim. We’ve witnessed it. We jumped in and experienced God taking care of us.
Has your faith made it all the way to your heart or are you holding on to the rails, calculating the risks of stepping onto the board? Or maybe your like me, by request I climbed the high dive stairs only to have my heart start thumping out of my chest. But then I thought, my son just did this because he knew how to swim! Her we go son. To have the faith of the child!
Are you ready to jump? Do you know you can swim? Are you trusting God today?
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