If you follow me on Insta or Twitter, or Facebook, or any other social media, then you know that Emmalee has been in swim lessons this week. She has never feared being in the water, but she does fear going UNDER the water. A few summers ago she would jump off diving boards and seemed to be fearless, but things have changed since she is a little older now (because 4 is the new 14, ya know). So I thought it was important to put her in lessons so that she can learn to survive in the water by herself without her floaties if she ever needed to.
A few weeks ago we were swimming at our neighbor’s house and we were trying to get Emmalee to jump off the diving board (arm floaties on, of course). She absolutely refused. She would get up there, and start to bounce, then run off. She was so terrified of actually jumping in. She finally agreed that she would jump if I was right below her, arms outstretch to instantly catch her so she wouldn’t go under. So I swam to the diving board, treaded water with arms outstretched for what seemed like an eternity, and she still couldn’t overcome the fear.
So I sat down with her so we could talk about it. She said she was just scared. I asked her if she trusted me…she said no (insert punch to the gut). So I asked her if she trusted Jesus…she said yes (insert smiling mom because maybe I’m doing something right). So I asked her if she trusted Jesus, then would she believe that Jesus would give me the strength to catch her and not let her go under? Again, she said no. She wanted “the real Jesus” to catch her.
I sat speechless for a moment, not quite knowing how to answer. I began to think of the things that I would do if “the real Jesus” was there to catch me, too. Would I get out of the boat and walk on water if I saw the hand of “the real Jesus” beckoning me? Would I talk to Him more if I saw Him listening intently to my heart? Would I make decisions based solely on the words that He spoke to me rather than listening to everyone else? I know for certain that I would introduce Him to everyone one I met so that they could see Him too. But that is, of course, if I saw “the real Jesus.”
But the truth is that I don’t have to “see” Him because I know that He lives inside of me! So why is it that I, sometimes, have such a hard time believing Him, and trusting Him, and living for Him? It’s fear. But I know that TRUTH overcomes all my fears.
And here, my friends, is the TRUTH:
My faith is in Christ Jesus. And in that faith, I have an assurance of things not seen (Hebrews 11.) The assurance that “the real Jesus” IS right beside me no matter where I go; the assurance that “the real Jesus” has His hand outstretched beckoning me to get out of the boat; the assurance that “the real Jesus” WILL catch me if I fall.
But oh, what would I do if I saw “the real Jesus” face to face, in ALL of HIS glory? What would you do? What is the fear that is holding you back from getting out of the boat? What is the fear that keeps you from jumping off that diving board? My prayer is that we all proclaim the TRUTH and live as if we are standing right beside "the real Jesus."
And just in case you were wondering, that sweet little girl DID jump off that diving board! And those swimming lessons? They're going great!