A few weeks ago, I kept the Pierce’s middle child while they prepared to move. Ben is a well-built 4-year-old full of energy, so we spent a lot of time in the pool. His parents told me that he was a good swimmer. This proved to be true, or at least while we were in the shallow end.
After a little coaxing, I eventually convinced him to jump off the diving board into the deep end of the pool. I told him that I would be right there in the water when he jumped in, but that since he was such a good swimmer he would be fine without me. Ben finally mustered up enough courage and plunged into the water. Immediately, he began to panic, arms flailing. It was like he had never known how to swim. As I pulled him toward me to calm him down, his arms wrapped tightly around my neck. He exclaimed that the water was too deep and that he could not swim. His fear of the deep water had made him completely forget everything that he knew.
There have been times in my own life when I have jumped into water that seems to be too deep for me. Like Ben, I panic, trying to keep my head above the water, forgetting God’s promises and forgetting to trust that He’s right there to keep me from sinking. It’s like everything I have ever learned from His word has completely left my mind. This reality hits close to home as I prepare to move to South Sudan. The entire task set before me is way over my head. At times, I feel as though I am sinking and may drown. But God is faithful, and I must continually remember that the Lord has called me into this “deep end”. It is His work in Nasir, not mine. It will be His power that keeps me afloat.
I am reminded of the story in Matthew 14:29-31 when Jesus walks on water. “Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.” What comfort I find in the fact that “immediately Jesus reached out his hand.”
There was no delay.
Despite Peter’s fear and lack of faith, Jesus was right there to catch him. My heart is so full of joy knowing that Jesus does the same for us, even in our own fear and doubt. Whenever we feel like we are drowning in deep water and don’t know what to do, Jesus is just an arms’ reach away.