Learning to Trust God: Lessons from the Pool

Sometimes we struggle to trust God. The giants we face in life are… well… in our face. They are enormous, real, and overwhelming.

  • Trust God to fix that problem?
  • Trust God to heal that relationship?
  • Trust God in the midst of this sickness and that financial crisis?
  • Trust God to transform me?

I was struck by what it means to trust God as photos of my grandson’s first swimming lesson showed up on my phone. Here are my musings:

#1. Luke trusts because he’s ignorant. (Okay, let’s soften that a bit and say he’s innocent).

Luke is just a fuzzy-haired, six-month old baby with new lobster swim trunks.

Luke in his swim trunks

He doesn’t know anything about the composition of water, or the science of oxygen, breathing and swallowing. A swimming pool is a dangerous place, but Luke doesn’t know that. He just knows his daddy’s arms are a safe place. Plus, water is fun. And he’s had fun with his dad and the bath water at home. No need to freak out.

We freak out because we don’t accept ignorance as a component of trusting God. We want to know every detail of His plan for us.  We’re obsessed with the circumstances and the why of every situation. When we’re in a scary or difficult place, we don’t find comfort in the One whose arms carried us there. And so we can’t relax and find joy or hope in the moment.

#2. Luke kept his eyes on his dad.

Luke Gazing Up 2

He was definitely insecure and his arms flailed a bit. He was probably scared and wanted more stability than the water offered, but Luke’s response was to look in his dad’s face. He found there a familiar, reassuring smile.  All was well.

All’s not well with us whenever we look away from God to our surroundings, and our pain; to the giants in our face, or the people we think have answers, including ourselves. We search for reassurance in our bank accounts or diplomas. It’s why we have a hard time trusting God. Our gaze is everywhere, but where it should be: in the face of our Father. And maybe it’s because that face is just not familiar enough. Maybe we don’t gaze there on our good days, let alone when we feel like we’re going to drown in the sea of life’s trials.

#3. Luke’s dad will never, ever let him drown.

Here’s Will, sharing a buoy with his boy; offering encouraging words and prepping his son for noodle-filled pool parties. Such love and pleasure in his eyes. Such calm and care. Luke’s got it good!

Luke with a Noodle 2

God is so like that for us, shoring us up with everlasting arms, encouraging us, teaching us so we can enjoy life. He will never, ever let us drown. Never ever. He loves us too much. Maybe we know it, but it doesn’t always enable us to trust him.

#4. There’s a cross hanging over Luke.

Will's Cross 2

Luke will one day notice that cross around his dad’s neck. And he’ll learn it symbolizes love far deeper than a pool and the Pacific. The Heart of Heaven, loving him so much He died to prove it. The cross hangs over him, a sign his parents love him too.

So we’re a lot like Luke, but only in our oblivion to the meaning of the cross. God’s redemptive hands tenderly provide everything we need in the pool of life’s deep waters. But we’re not humble enough, not dependent enough. We leap from our Father’s protective care in search of cold tile, a safe sideline for fearful hind-parts.

Oh that we would trust our Father like the diaper-clad do.

I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18.3,4

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