Learning to trust . . .
“I love swimming, the joy of the splash.”
Okay, not really swimming, I flounder like a confused drunken seal in less than five feet of water. Nose flooding, eyes twitching and flinching encounter the lukewarm smothering wet surface. I panic and splash furiously, desperately seeking firmer footing at the four foot mark. Terrified, eyes, nose and throat burning with chlorine, I cling to the security of the side wall lip of the pool, gasping for air and shivering with fear.
Chlorine overwhelms me. So does self-loathing and disappointment. I have to go to the bathroom - badly. I manage to soggily climb the shallow wide steps to exit the pool. My soaked, incredibly heavy swimming suit is dripping almost obscenely, making the sopping walk to the showers embarrassing and unbearable. Maybe some other day . . .
My normally brave mother was absolutely terrified of heights. She never permitted her elegant toes to part the calm waters of a swimming pool. She instilled in me the dubious safety of preventive avoidance. The very thought of diving off a narrow board brings swirling dizzying nausea to burn my nose and throat.
Heights do thrill me and it was years before I braved flying. It was so beautiful, so freeing, the land below so delightful. I think that because my handsome, protective and adventurous boyfriend flew me over Disneyland in his sweet little Piper Cub plane I was able to sideline my fear.
Sheer childhood angst - climbing past the first rung of the “monkey bars” panicked me. Clambering up the playground slide was dizzying, but I climbed it for the thrill of the immediate plop into hot, soft sand. Spiders spitefully bit me as I unwittingly sat on them. My hands painfully remember the biting pinch of the rusty chains as I pumped swings to shaking maximum velocity – remember “cherry bumps” - trusting the warm, welcoming sand below.
Shakily maneuvering down a hill is terrifying. Loose gravel and sharp little stones bloody my shaking knees. Scraping knees going uphill is no better. I require the safety of handlebars and brakes. I rolled on only one skate, keeping my right foot ready to stop my wobbles. I refuse to ice skate – just knowing those nasty sharp blades will cut my leg as I head to the public indoor skating rink.
I crave the safety and balance of a sturdy adult tricycle. Three huge shiny solid wheels beneath me are very much preferred. Riding a bicycle even with training wheels? No way. And don’t even get me started on motorcycles, especially those that careen madly, dangerously sideways to turn corners.
Sounds like security issues. Trust issues. I trust only what my hands and feet firmly affix themselves to. Don’t dare me to fall back into arms prepared to catch me, unless I fall into His Arms.
And I do. Trembling with fear overcome by adoration, I shakily yield myself to His death, burial and resurrection. Counting on my oh-so-patient pastor to keep me from truly drowning, I slowly, fearfully yet trustingly succumb to what feels like the incredibly deep smothering full immersion – my face is fully covered by my dreaded nemesis – water. I am taken slowly down and then, gulping huge lungfuls of air, I am quickly, joyously resurrected from my watery grave to the cheers, smiles and grins, and “praise the Lords” as a new, trusting and most grateful soggy creature in the Christ.
I am swooped to heights I never before could fathom nor even imagine – my limited childish understanding unable to fully comprehend the depths and heights of His unbelievable love for me. God gave His precious Son for me that I may fly with Him to His Home – to spend eternity at His blessed side, taking in all the wonder and joy of His being.
I have discovered the safety of the foam rubber “noodle” that incredibly buoys my floating frame, so that I splash gleefully around in the pool, bravely to the nine foot level. It is amazing that such a lightweight item supports me and frees me to SPLASH!
Thank you my Lord for saving me, for raising me up from a watery grave. For loving me and freeing me from sin, fear of death, fear of pain and loss. My life is in Your Hands. Thank you for presenting me spotless to our Father.
KJV 1 Peter 3:21
KJV John 11:25
KJV Romans 6:4
KJV Romans 10:9
KJV Jude 1:24-25
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