|I was sitting on the balcony, listening to excited squeals and splashes as children played in the swimming pool below.
One particular little girl caught my attention. She appeared to be about 6 years old, wearing bright yellow water wings around her arms like blood pressure cuffs. As she stood by the pool nervously flapping her arms, her daddy was poised in waist-deep water with his arms outstretched.
“Come on, honey, you can do it,” he coached. “Go ahead and jump. I’m right here.”
“But I’m scared,” she said, whining and flapping. “You might not catch me.”
“Don’t be afraid. I’m right here.”
“But you might move!”
“I’m not going to move. I’m not going to let anything happen to you,” he assured her.
This bantering went on for at least 15 minutes. I was amazed at the father’s patience and persistence. But finally, she jumped! Applause went up all around the pool! By the end of the morning, the little girl was swimming like a minnow and making her way across the once “treacherous” waters.
Then God began to speak to my heart: Sharon, sometimes you’re that little girl. And suddenly, I began to see myself standing on the pool’s edge with my heavenly Father beckoning me to jump in.
Come on, honey, you can do it, He coaxes. Go ahead and jump. I’m right here.
“But I’m scared,” I cry. “You might not catch me.”
Don’t be afraid. I’m right here.
“But You might move!”
I’m not going to move. I’m your heavenly Father. I’m not going to let anything bad happen to you.
First Corinthians 2:9 says, “However, as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’ — the things God has prepared for those who love him.” But in order to experience what He has prepared for us, we have to jump in.
All through Scripture, we read of men and women who were afraid when God called them to jump into His plan. Moses cried out to the burning bush, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” And God replied, “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say” (Exodus 3:11b; 4:12, NIV).
Jeremiah struggled moving forward with the words, “‘Alas, Sovereign LORD,’ I said, ‘I do not know how to speak; I am too young.’” But the Lord replied, “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you” (Jeremiah 1:6, 8a, NIV).
Gideon “flapped his water wings” and refused to jump in with several excuses. “But LORD … how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” And God replied, “I will be with you” (Judges 6:15b-16, NLT).
Moses, Jeremiah and Gideon finally jumped in the deep end of God’s will, and God did amazing works through each of them.
Did you notice the little girl said, “Daddy, what if you don’t catch me?”
The fear of “what if” holds me back sometimes. I wonder if it does you, too.
What if He doesn’t catch me? What if I heard Him wrong? What if I fail?
Allowing the fear of “what if” to mess with our mind and rule our heart will smother our confidence and courage with an avalanche of doubt. Fear has no choice but to leave the premises when we stand on God’s promises and say, “You are not welcome here.”
Here’s what I’ve decided: When God calls me to dare greatly, I’m going to jump in with both feet, but never let go of His hand. I hope you will, too. “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived — the things God has prepared for those who love him.” Let’s jump in and experience those things together.
Heavenly Father, sometimes I am so afraid to move forward in faith. Sometimes I’m not sure if it is Your voice or my own I’m hearing. But I’ve decided I am going to err on the side of obedience. Give me the courage to move when You say move, to speak when You say speak, to jump into the deep end of Your will when You say “jump in.” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.