Blue sky and sunshine – a perfect day for the long anticipated picnic. It would be a day filled with fun, family, good friends and games. Everyone looked forward to watching the competitive games – everything from foot races to dances – but first the waters of the lake beckoned.
The two young girls, one a little less adventurous than her younger friend, finished helping unload the packed cars, grabbed fuzzy beach towels and ran toward the glittering water. They squealed as the chilly water enveloped them. In spite of her lack of swimming proficiency, the smaller girl pushed out toward the deeper water – her friend following reluctantly in her wake. They flailed their arms as they walked forward – splashing water at each other, laughing and shouting.
In a single moment everything changed. The older girl watched in stunned disbelief as her friend disappeared from sight. Unbeknown to either girl, the lake bottom dropped off sharply just a short way from shore. Heart pounding, she moved toward her friend as she resurfaced – thrashing wildly. Trying desperately to keep her footing, she reached for the struggling girl – but in her panic her friend grabbed her around the neck. She fought hard to keep from going under again, but all she succeeded in doing was to pull her would-be rescuer under with her. The older girl knew if she couldn’t get her friend to calm down they would both drown.
She pried her hands loose, shouted at her to stop struggling and held tightly to her hands. Digging her feet into the lake bottom, she pulled her to safety. Badly shaken they trudged to shore and collapsed onto the sand.
I will never forget that day. If my friend hadn’t trusted me, I think it would have ended far differently.
It is a lesson I have had to learn over and over again in my own life. When life plunges me into the deep end and I find myself “in over my head,” I want to immediately get my circumstances under control. I flail around trying to do anything and everything to make things better and only succeed in making them worse.
In those moments, Jesus extends His hands toward me. He tells me to calm down and trust Him. Sometimes He even has to do a bit of “shouting” to get me to listen and relax my tight-fisted grip on what I think is control. When I do, we walk out of the deep waters together to a place of safety.
‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
- Old Growth, Roots, and Amazing Grace
- How Bad Do You Want it?