Learning to Float Do you remember learning to swim as a child? Did your parents teach you? When learning to swim, you must first learn to float. You lie on your back in the water, suspended by your father’s arms. You can feel his arms underneath you, strong and wrapped securely around you. Then he tells you to lay your head back in the water. As you do, the water comes rushing into your ears. It’s uncomfortable at first, but you adjust. He tells you to relax and just breathe naturally. As you follow his instructions, you think, “Wow, this is great!” Then, suddenly, you feel his grip loosen. You panic and very quickly begin to sink. “How could he?” you think. You trusted him. Why would he let you sink? Doesn’t he know you can’t swim? Doesn’t he know you could choke, drown….DIE! Why, why would he allow this to happen? Isn’t that how we are as Christians? Each day is another lesson…in something. A new adventure, another first. As we listen to and follow God’s instructions, we feel secure, we feel His strong presence and we are fine. But as He begins to loosen His grip, we panic and begin to sink. We think He has forgotten us, just walked away or even worse…doesn’t really understand us or know what He’s doing. We may not say that, but isn’t that what we are thinking?
We ask ourselves, “Does He really CARE?” We ask Him, “Why!? Why did you let this happen? Why did you let me sink? You know I can’t swim…….or preach, or….teach, or…..sing, or….do foster care, or….adopt, or….move away from home, or….go to college, or…be a missionary, or, or, or….you knew I couldn’t do it, Lord!” As our father quickly elevates us from what our minds perceive to be our watery grave, we say, “Daddy, don’t let go, I’ll sink.” Dad begins to tell us that in order to swim we must first learn to float and to float we must relax. In time, we get better and better at relaxing, even though we are still nervous. Daddy takes a step back and watches as we lay suspended atop the gentle ripples of the water. We learn that he really does know what he is talking about and we trust him when he says, “I’m right here, baby. I won’t let you drown.” And he never did! Before long, we are swimming, then diving and sometimes even skiing in the water. It’s fun, even if we sometimes take a fall or get choked on the water. We know it was worth it. The fear of the unknown, the hard work, the patience and practice, was all worth it to be able to enjoy the water. So here I am…floating, swimming, diving and skiing. There are dangers though, and I must follow the rules in order to stay safe. The Christian life is very much like learning to float. It’s about trusting and relaxing and breathing. We must rest in our Savior’s arms, trust
that He knows best and breathe in the Word of God. God wants to stand back and watch us float atop the water of His love and then send us out into the ocean of life to swim, dive and ski for Him. In following His instructions and obeying His rules, we will be kept safe from the dangers. From time to time, we will be tired and weary. It is in those times that our Heavenly Father will elevate us from what our minds perceive to be our watery grave and tell us, “Its ok, I’m right here, just rest for a while.” He takes us in His arms and we float, secure in His grip of love. The End