On a recent visit to my daughter and son-in-law’s home, I had the opportunity to go to the pool with them and their children, ages two and “almost four.” It was fun to see how they’d progressed in their skills and comfort level in the water. Mirana, my “almost four year old” granddaughter has learned to float, dog paddle, and some preliminary swim strokes. Iskandar, the two year old, mostly loves jumping in and having Mommy or Daddy grab him as he comes up to the surface. Both really enjoy themselves as they play and jump.
But Grandma’s heart started to beat a little faster when they went to deeper water to jump off the diving board! It was a special board, closer to the water than the tall one, but it still looked like a gangplank to me.
Mirana ran to the board, walked quickly to the end and jumped into her father’s arms. Iskandar, who always wants to do what his big sister does, approached the board with more caution. Up he climbed and then baby-stepped his way to the end. With just a bit of coaxing he took the plunge, into Daddy’s waiting arms. He came up smiling, eager to do it again.
I let my breath out and smiled too. Wow, I wish I had that kind of confidence in the water. When I go in, I stay in the shallow end where my feet touch the bottom.
Later, I thought about how faith in God correlates to a child’s faith in their parents. The size of our faith is insignificant. “Faith is only as valid as the object. Jesus taught that faith the size of a mustard seed is sufficient, if planted in the soil of God’s greatness…have faith in God—not faith in faith,” writes Joanie Yoder, In her book God Alone.
Sometimes in my faith journey I baby-step it to the end of the diving board. Other times I feel a bit braver and jump more quickly.
My grandkids trust their parents (especially their strong Daddy) to catch them when they jump into the pool. Through their example I was reminded that it’s not my abilities or my confidence in those abilities that keep me safe, it’s my Father, my Abba, who stands ready to catch me when I jump.