....I love to float
I can float and drift for hours. My fingers are wrinkled when I finally, reluctantly, get out of the water. It is the most relaxing sensation - a wonderful weightless freedom - a sense of being held.
I taught swimming as a teenager and I remember one little boy who was very afraid of the water. He could not relax enough to float. It took the better part of a week, with lots of encouragement on my part and tears on his, but I finally established a trust with this little fellow. He knew that when I said I would not let him go that I really wouldn't - that I would wait until he was ready to try. We reached the stage where he allowed me to support his body in the water. I would kneel behind him, and he would lean back until his head rested on my shoulder. I would place my hands under his back until his feet would float up from the bottom of the pool. And all the time I talked - reassuring him that the water was doing most of the work and that I was really only balancing his body. It was a very exciting day when this brave little boy hesitantly gave me the nod to let go and he floated. There were cheers all around the pool and a very happy Dad watching from the side!
Floating, by its nature, requires a certain level of trust. If you are afraid, your body tenses, and you will sink. The hardest part of learning to swim is to let go of the fear, to believe that water can support you, just as it supports all the other swimmers, and then, to relax enough to give it a try. It requires surrender.
When I float I feel held. I am totally secure, relaxed and peaceful. I don't worry about whether I will suddenly sink. I know the nature of water. I know that by its very nature, it will support me.
I long to have that same trust in the Lord. I struggle though. I feel fearful at times - anxious - tense - even though His nature teaches me that I can trust Him for He is love. Yet I still wrestle with doubts each time I am faced with uncertainty and the unknown.
I read this question this morning and it stopped me in my devotional tracks -
Why are some people gripped by the wonder of a love and know that they are loved, or even cherished? Why do others have the impression that they are neglected?
Although I believe that I am deeply loved, my emotions sometimes reveal an inner conflict - I believe one thing and feel another. I know He is in control yet I sometimes feel anxious. I know that He is always with me yet I sometimes feel alone.
I believe that "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want" yet I must pray, "Lord let this be true for me. Let me know it - not just a head knowledge but a heart knowledge - a deep, intimate knowing that calms my fears, strengthens my faith and fills me with peace."
I will not be satisfied until I am fully aware, at every level of my being, that I am gripped by the wonder of Him whose nature is love. I am cherished by Him - I am His treasure, His inheritance and His reward.
Like floating, this kind of faith also requires surrender - a willingness to trust, relax, let go of my anxieties and fears when I can't touch bottom, even when the depths seem fathomless.
I will surrender and re-surrender…
I will never give up until I know I am always held, even in the depths of a sea of trouble.
I will surrender to Him who has promised that He will never leave me or forsake me. 1
I will surrender to Him who works all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. 2
I will surrender to Him who says, “I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. 3