My family and I recently went out of town. JJ’s nephew graduated from high school several weeks ago, so we flew to a beautiful area in the northeast to celebrate with him and to visit with family in their neck of the woods.
The week away was a much-needed break. It was good to get away from the constant reminders of the tragedy that took place here in May, which had engulfed me in deep sorrow ever since that day. My family and I also welcomed the chance to escape the scorching, Texas heat! I packed a sweatshirt for our trip and actually wore it a few times!
While away, we reveled in the cooler weather as we enjoyed good conversations, nature, some sight-seeing, and my sister-in-law’s delicious home-cooked meals. The week was simply glorious!
With an extra day on our trip due to a flight cancelation, my family and I took advantage of taking a quick dip in the neighborhood pool our last day, where we were surrounded by mountains on one side and stately pine trees extending high into clear blue skies speckled by fluffy, white clouds. It was the perfect way to bring our trip to a close.
While there, I intently watched two mothers as they tried to reason with their young children to go deeper into the pool with them. It was the same problem I had been having with my own son as of late. They were at an age where they were somewhat afraid of the water, wanting to either cling to the ledge of the pool for dear life or sit staunchly on the swimming pool steps, refusing to further enter in. Seeing these children act this way as a spectator was somewhat comical. It’s as if they forgot who they were with—that they had their mothers by their sides who would not leave them. Or perhaps they hadn’t forgotten but didn’t fully comprehend who these women were. Maybe they failed to understand that their mothers would do anything to save them, even sacrificing their own lives.
Fortunately, one of the young children finally mustered up enough courage to acquiesce to his mother’s pleas, and soon he was splashing about, laughing with glee as he glided around on a pool noodle that his mom was securely holding onto. He was finally enjoying the fun that she had intended for him all along.
As I watched this happy moment, I wondered how often we, as believers, acted like those children in our own relationship with God. When God wanted to take us deeper into some aspect of our lives, did we instead insist on staying on the sidelines, staunchly sitting on our own swimming pool steps rather than following God’s leading into something more profound and purposeful? When presented with a situation that threatened to inundate us, did we forget who was by our side and that He would never leave us? Or did we fail to comprehend who God was and that He would do anything to save us? Because, in fact, Jesus already did. He sacrificed His very own life.
In all honesty, it’s hard for me to write these words, because I know how much I struggle to go deeper myself. My natural inclination is to want to give in to worry and fear, opting to “play it safe” on the sidelines rather than fully immersing myself in something more meaningful. But maybe that is the precise reason why I needed to write this—because I need to forever remember those kids at the pool and the insights gained that day. And I need to challenge myself in this respect and pray to God that I will be different—that I won’t miss out on the opportunities and invitations God gives me to go deeper with Him in any way.
Something I keep thinking about as I continue to mull over that moment at the pool is how much those children (and my own) could benefit from going deeper into the water with their moms. They might eventually learn how to swim if they entered a little further, where they had room to splash their arms about and kick their feet as their mothers upheld them and taught them some basic moves. These simple lessons, in turn, could eventually lead to more advanced lessons which would equip these little ones with the ability to swim over time.
The thing is, you can’t learn to swim if you are fiercely clinging to the ledge or stubbornly sitting on the side. You have to go deeper. Your trust in the one who is upholding you must be greater than your fears. And only there will your fears fade away as you revel in the beauty of the moment. Only there can you learn new things that will open the door to many new adventures to come.
Similarly, you can’t learn how to have deeper faith, character, and trust in God, nor any other skill with which God would equip you, if you only wade in the water when God is calling you to go deeper.
The truth is, He wants to take each of us to places where our feet will no longer touch the bottom, where we cannot sit on the side. But we know that we can trust the One who is leading us because He will uphold us.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”Isaiah 41:10
He will help us and teach us what He wants us to know. And we can revel in the beauty of the moment, despite our fears, because we know that God is forever with us.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;Isaiah 43:2a
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you.”
He is with us and will equip us for greater things—many new adventures to come.
4 thoughts on “Going Deeper”
I absolutely love this analogy of clinging to the sides and not letting oneself be draw deeper into our walk with God. Made me think about what holds me back. Fear plays a huge role for me. But if we keep our eyes on Jesus and stay close to Him we will eventually find ourselves willing to take that step deeper even if we might not enjoy it at the start. But yes, the lessons learnt there will be invaluable.
Awesome insight Colleen. Take care and glad that you had a lovely time away.
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I’m glad you liked it, Manu. Yes, keeping our eyes on Jesus will definitely help us to go deeper. Let’s pray God helps us to do just that! Thanks, friend! I hope you are well! 💙
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Your trip sounds delightful! I am so jealous that you wore a sweatshirt.
I love this analogy of the children in the pool afraid to go deeper. This is me, time and time again with the Lord. Fear tells me it’s too scary, with too many unknowns. The Lord tells me to trust Him and follow Him. When we go deeper He never leaves us, and our faith grows a little more each time. Thanks for all of your wonderful writing. You are always an encouragement.
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I’m glad you feel encouraged, Meghan. Yours encourage me too, either spiritually or to eat! 😄 Your recipes are always so enticing! But on a more serious note, I’m glad we can learn from each other. ❤ It.is a blessing to be able to interact with you and gain insight from you.
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