If you read my blog on a regular basis, you will see that I do not post a whole lot about water. Water is not my favorite thing. I have to confess, if being clean was not such a priority, I wouldn’t shower daily – simply because I just don’t like the drying off process. I know that seems so weird, but what can I say, I am a little quirky (It’s only me – I know!). Please humble me with another water post.
We were recently blessed with a trip to Florida! It was amazing to see friends and family, some of whom we have not seen in at many as 7 or 8 years. We got to hang out with some dear people in our lives, eat at some of favorite Florida restaurants, make some great family memories, and see my nephew play football – this being his senior year!
Well, my favorite memory has to be from Thursday, Sept. 8th. Our family went to St. Petersburg beach in the Tampa area. What a beautiful place and the weather was perfectly hot for a great day in the bay side water. Well, we arrived at 3:15 and stayed well beyond 2 hours, which is huge for us. After have been there for about 45 minutes, I noticed that my little guy, Ian – 3 years old – hadn’t got in the water yet. So I made my way, “back to shore” to grab him and get him in the water. After I grabbed him, there was much screaming and leg kicking, he was so overwhelmed and did not know what to think of this vast body of water. As I got him calmed down and his body accustomed to the feel of the water, he really began to adjust and feel safe and secure in the arms of his dad. Once I got out to the depth of the water at about chest deep for me, he was totally loving the water, but then he got a strange look on his face.
“Dad, are there sharks out here?” Well you, our kids are avid “Shark Week” fans. You could tell that Ian was putting 2 and 2 together. He was in the home of the shark. I quickly replied, “No Ian. The sharks are not here this close to the people. You will be okay, ‘You just have to trust me!'” Well we ended up playing in the water, collecting shells, and throwing the football, etc… for the better part of an hour and 45 minutes. It was great. I told my wife later, that Ian made the trip to the beach this time. His little world of understanding, just got a little bit bigger! And I was grateful.
As I reflect on our little time in the water, it was if my Heavenly Father was speaking to me, “Son, you just have to trust me!” Boy, I was humbled. “I know Daddy, I have to trust you. It just all the unknowns. It just the lack of seeing what tomorrow holds. It just the fact that things aren’t turning out like I thought they were supposed to. It just very little is making sense right now. I feel so overwhelmed, like being in the middle of the ocean, where the sharks live. Daddy, I am a little bit, well a whole lot – scared!”
Ah that point of reckoning where you and I have to admit that we don’t have it all together. Where we have to depend on our Heavenly Father, more than we depend on our own judgments, relationship, our own sensibilities, and our own skills and abilities. We just have to trust Him! We have to remember it was Jesus that said in Isaiah 41:10,
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
And then in Isaiah 43:1 & 2,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.”
That is our Heavenly Fathers way of saying, “You Just Have to Trust Me!”
So, as we were pulling into my brother-in-law’s neighborhood, Ian woke up instantly in from an hour and half long nap. Without missing a beat, he says…
“Let’s go to the beach! That was fun being in the water!”
My hats off to you Sport, you are learning to love the adventure into the Shark’s Layer! Keep on Swimming!