“Let her go!” the swimmers demanded as my father firmly gripped my hand. Their eyes flashed fire. Then my Dad spoke. Their faces softened and they turned back to toss their beach ball. I chewed on my hair, as my thoughts jumbled.
My Dad just continued to squeeze my five-year-old hand and to stride across the lake. With each step, I wailed and jerked.
“Daddy, stop! I’m gonna drown!” But he didn’t stop. He set his face with grim determination.
A second group splashed over to us. Their blotchy faces and their challenging tone seared my mind with chaotic thoughts.
“Let her go!”
Dad spoke and their glares turned to wobbly smiles. I stared. My face turned red. I pulled harder. My piercing screams echoed in the lake. Silence fell. Faces scrutinized us. My father still refused to let go.
A third group surged through the water. A serene white-haired man followed in the rear.
“Let her go!” the group demanded.
The white-haired man lightly placed his arm on one swimmer and pushed into the group.
“Let me handle this,” he said. His look of love and kindness soothed my spirit. I gazed at him in wonder, open-mouthed. He spoke gently in low tones to my father. My Dad’s answer was caught by the wind.
Then the group held hands and closed their eyes. Their words were muffled by the wind.
Dad let go of my arm and walked to the center of the lake, beckoning me to come to him.
As I walked to him, I looked around me in wonder. “But Daddy, I’m not drowning.”
“That’s right, honey. Look around. Who’s swimming?”
“No one. They’re all standing up.”
“You know why? The lake is shallow.”
“What’s ‘shallow,’ Daddy?”
“That means ‘not deep.’ See? The water only comes to the middle of my leg. Do you know why the people’s angry faces changed so fast? ‘Cause I told them ‘She’s afraid of the water.’ They all smiled ‘cause they wanted you to get over your fear. Remember the group that stood in a circle? They prayed for both of us. They wanted you to get over your fear, too.
“Now can you see why I wanted you to hold my hand and walk across the lake? It was to get over your fear. Before we even started, I saw everyone standing. Then I knew the lake was shallow. I could see the end of the lake ‘cause I was taller.”
He grinned and his eyes danced. “Can you make yourself as big as me? Stretch and see.”
I strained and stretched as high as I could.
“But Daddy, you know I can’t.”
“Here, let me help you.”
His hands plunged into the water, splashing me playfully. He beamed, then lifted me high above his head.
Later, I earned my “Guppy Swimmer Badge.” I beamed with pride every time people saw it. It meant that I could swim in the deep end of any pool. I couldn’t have done it without my father. He helped me step into the unknown with victory.
When I was five, I couldn’t see where my steps would lead me. My father could. I misunderstood his purpose in taking me where I thought I’d be hurt, but his determination helped me conquer a major fear.
Is God trying to do that with you? Are you resisting the steps of Your Heavenly Father, like I resisted my earthly father’s steps?
God can see beyond your limited vision. He knows what’s ahead. Put your hand in His and He’ll faithfully guide you.
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