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Swimmingly Secure

But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."  Matthew 14:27 NIV

Photo courtesy of pixabay.“You can’t get in the water until you learn how to swim.”

My co-worker’s grandmother set that rule years before. As a result, Dawn feared water. She wanted to swim but had no idea how to start. 

My parents had me playing in water from infancy. I loved nothing more than a trip to the creek on hot summer afternoons. My sister, cousins, and I dreamed up and played water games for hours. We stood on our hands, floated on our backs, and watched the drifting clouds. We flipped, jumped, splashed, and looked for fish, decorative rocks, and other underwater wonders.

I wanted my friend to know this same freedom. One afternoon after work, we visited a community pool. Gasping for air, she entered the shallow end. After she felt secure enough to hold the side and kick, I suggested she lie back, and I’d help her float. Letting go, she allowed me to guide her.

She found that weightless feeling fun. I removed one hand, reassuring her she wouldn’t sink. Then I removed one finger at a time and said, “Dawn, I’m holding you with one finger. You know I can’t do that. You’re floating on your own.” Tensing, she went down.

Like Dawn, I often shy away from God’s call to new service because I don’t know how. Yet, in order to learn, I have to get my feet wet. Once I take the plunge, I still hold back, not fully trusting. And like the apostle Peter, when my eyes stray from Jesus, focusing instead on my frailties, I go down.

Loosening my grip and giving God control helps me overcome my fear. By immersing myself in God’s Word and purpose, I find my own.

Don’t be afraid to swim when Jesus calls, “Come on in. The water’s fine.” 

(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)

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Diana Derringer

Diana Derringer, a former social worker and adjunct professor, writes for several publications. She teaches a middle school Sunday school class, sings in the choir, and participates in missions activities through her church. She and her husband enjoy traveling and serving as a friendship family to international university students. Visit her at www.dianaderringer.com.