Swimming lessons have been attempted 3 times over the past 4 years. Living in northwest Florida really leaves us no other choice. The girl has got to learn to swim. But, as you can see by the look on her face, it hasn't gone well.
This was actually the second year we tried it, and believe it or not, this was much better than the year before. At least this time, she was in the water. Her first lessons consisted of her sitting on the edge of the pool for the first few nights, then the screaming began and we couldn't even get her to sit. It was a battle not worth fighting. So, we became swim lesson drop-outs, much to the chagrin of my husband, who never quits anything sports related.
Well, three must be a charm, because the lessons went pretty well this past summer. Praise the LORD, she finally got in the water without sounding the alarms! She even put her head under water a few times (you know, while sitting on the step).
I have struggled to understand my daughter's lack of trust in me, my husband, and all those swim instructors. Every time I'm in the water with her, I have to remind her that I'm RIGHT THERE! If I let go for a second, she's searching for me, crying out to me, as if I've gotten up and left her there alone. From her perspective, unless she can feel my arm supporting her, I am not there for her. It seems as though I've abandoned her to sink or swim on her own.
This week, as I've watched the horrific coverage of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, I've been forced to think once again about trust. Do I trust God? Do I know that even in the midst of chaos and death, He is there? If everything I had was gone, would I still believe in His faithfulness?
Like tidal waves that ebb and flow, so goes my trust in God. When things are good, I ride those waves, soaring high! When things are bad, I fall with the waves, crashing to the shore. How many swim lessons will God have to give me before I learn to trust Him?
Over the past year and a half, I have felt those crushing waves of distrust. A dear friend losing her precious firstborn son. Another sweet friend losing a baby through miscarriage. People I'd trusted falling from the pedestal I'd placed them on. My baby girl and I being separated for the first time in almost 7 years, forcing me to entrust her education and 8 hours of each day to someone else, while watching her struggle and fight for her place in a new school. Earthquakes, tsunamis, war, and unrest happening all over the world. I'd be lying if I told you that my faith has not been tossed around, shaken, and turned on its head.
Were it not for the faithfulness of God in my past, it would be difficult for me to cling to Him for my future. In the rear view mirror of my life, I can look back to those times when my world seemed to be crumbling down, and see Him in the middle of it all. He has carried me through hard times and shown me His Goodness. His Word has provided me with constant reminders of His Trustworthiness. And, more than this, I have sensed His Presence. He is always near, even when I can't see or feel Him.
I'm sure that God shakes His Head at me sometimes, the way I shake my head at my daughter. He longs for me to know that when I'm in the drowning waves of distrust, He is RIGHT THERE! He is never more than an arm's reach away. He will never abandon me to sink or swim on my own. I can trust Him. He keeps His promises. He is Faithful.
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful." ~ Hebrews 10:23
** For further reading on the faithfulness of God, read about Joseph in Genesis 37-47.