I remember the city pool I used to frequent when I was a kid. I loved that pool, and I spent many hours there every summer. One of my favorite things to do was jump off the high dive. That diving board was at least a hundred feet up in the air. You had to gather your courage just to climb the ladder and walk out to the end of the diving board. Then you had to muster up some serious courage in order to take the leap off the end of the board into the water that waited for you a mile below.
Even though I was a good swimmer, and even though I’d gone off that board a million times, I still felt that shiver of fear when I got ready to jump. So I can understand why my kids, who are still learning to swim, are afraid of jumping off the side of the pool and into their swim instructor’s waiting arms. It’s scary. Sure, the teacher says she’ll catch you, but will she really? Or might you somehow go underwater? Like, all the way, with even your head under?
As I watched my children’s instructor trying to coax them to jump to her in the water, I thought about how much we moms are sometimes like my children. We fear entering something that might be dangerous. So we stand there, arms outstretched, bouncing a little but afraid to get our whole body into the jump and leap forward because we’re afraid we’ll go under.
We’re afraid He won’t really be there when we hit the water’s surface. After all, bad things happen sometimes in life, right? Even to good people. So how do we know we can trust God to be there for us when we really need Him?
Or perhaps we’ve been pushed off the edge of the pool by someone’s death or by tragedy, and we’re desperately hoping Someone will be there to catch us and help us keep our head above water. Will God meet us? Or will we drown?
Those are honest, heart-wrenching questions, and they deserve an honest answer. The answer is this: Yes, sometimes bad things happen to us. Sometimes when we leap into the pool, we do go under. But it’s not because God is simply standing by, arms crossed, not even trying to catch us.
If that’s what we think, we’re badly mistaken. No, when we jump into the pool, God is standing there with His arms reaching for us, ready to catch us as we begin to fall. And if we go under, He goes under with us, holding us tightly in His arms.
God didn’t promise that we’ll never have trouble, but He did promise to go through everything with us. He also promised that our trials won’t overwhelm us. Yes, sometimes they seem overwhelming and relief takes forever in coming. Sometimes it doesn’t come until heaven. But it will come.
We’ll shake the water droplets from our hair and wipe them from our eyes, and we’ll realize we’ve made it. God has safely brought us through one more time. And then, I imagine we’ll do what my children always do when I catch them when they jump—we’ll cling tightly to the One who saved us and rest our head on His shoulder. He’ll set us back on dry land, and going under will have become only a memory—a memory and a testimony to the grace of God in bringing us through.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. —Isaiah 43:2
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. —John 16:33
Adapted from Megan Breedlove's blog, Manna for Moms. Megan is the author of Well Done, Good and Faithful Mommy and Manna for Moms: God's Provision for Your Hair-Raising, Miracle-Filled Mothering Adventure (Regal Books). She is also a blogger and a stay-at-home mom with five children.