I took my grandson for a swim the other day. When we got to the pool, we realised we didn’t bring his floaties.
He was most distressed, as he loves the pool, but is not confident enough to swim without help from the floaties around his arms.
I got into the pool, put my arms out and said, ‘I’ve got you mate. We’ll swim together.’ He was very hesitant to trust me at first, but gradually warmed to the idea of swimming in the deep end with Pa.
Trust is all about letting go.
An ancient writer encourages, ‘Trust in the lord with all your heart’ (Proverbs chapter 3, verse 5). Here, the writer says that trust involves letting go of everything.
Just as my grandson had to completely let go of the edge of the pool before he could find out if swimming in the deep end with Pa was something he could actually do, so in the face of challenges I sometimes I have to let go and trust God.
The second part of this verse goes on to say, ‘and lean not on your own understanding’. From my grandson’s perspective, to let go of the edge of the pool seemed dangerous, as he didn’t have his floaties on—the things he always trusted to keep him afloat.
But from my perspective, I knew he’d be safe in my arms. My grandson had to trust that what I knew about being safe in the water meant that he really would be safe—even if it didn’t look safe to him.
For me, there have been lots of changes lately and I don’t adapt easily to change.
There are times for all of us when things just don’t look safe—especially in times of change—and we try to deal with the new things in the same way as we have in the past.
It can be changes at work or health taking an unforeseen turn for the worse and the future seems uncertain. It might be a relationship break-up or the death of a partner, and life is unexpectedly lonely.
I have a tendency to trust the known rather than the unknown—sometimes to my detriment, because the known doesn’t always work. It’s when the unknown arises and I’m asked to jump into the deep end without my floaties that I know I just have to trust God.
At those times I’m reminded that God is the father in the deep end, holding out his arms and saying, ‘I’ve got you mate. We’ll swim together.’