I am standing on a dock, it is a crisp, cool morning and the water looks cold, it is calm this morning and little ripples lap quietly against the dock pilings. Appearances are deceiving, because I have been in this lake before. The water has always been warm and comfortable, but my skin crinkles up in goose bumps at the thought of entering the water, the chilling mist which drifts up around me only heightens the feeling that I should stay away, I know what I need to do, I need to get over my fears, I need to be in the water, I need to just jump.
The decision is made and I am flying through the air, I am about to hit the surface, I am smiling, I am happy, soon, oh so quickly I will be one with the water. I will be where I am supposed to be.

I once looked down into a pool, at the deep end, I was young seven, maybe eight, I couldn’t swim, oh, I could dog-paddle a little, very little, but no, I really couldn’t swim, off to the side my parents were urging me to jump in. They didn’t know what I knew, they didn’t know that if I jumped in I would drown. I knew this, but at their insistence I jumped in and I started flailing and sinking. My Dad swam over and pulled me out. He seemed disgusted with me. I never wanted to enter the water again, but I was wrong. I learned to swim despite my parent’s attitude. I had to, I had to get past the jeering, the looks of disgust, or die of shame, I did get past them, because God helped me.
We can spend our whole lives on land, we can build our worlds in such a way that we needn’t think of entering the water. We can shut off the views of the river, the lakes, and the endless ocean beyond. But there is something which calls to us from the water, the constant motion of the waves, the wind in our faces, the smells on the breeze, the quiet depths. Sometimes, short of putting on our swimsuits, we just like to look at it.

This is what it is like for us, we are all standing on the brink of God’s great mercies. We are looking down into the depths of the inestimable love of the one who died that we might live, and we are tempted to chicken out.
It is because in our native form we are dry, we are dry and water scares us. We imagine that our dry substance is what we are. We are empty desert and moisture would destroy the dry uniformity we have become comfortable with, but we need not fear, dry dirt plus water is mud, the kind of thing God made us from in the first place. If we look to Him the Spirit of God will bring forth in each of us a spring of living water. This is not a vain imagining, Jesus said it would be so. When we have a spring we are sprinkled with His provision and in our moist potential, He can mold our mud into something wonderful. When we have the spring inside us, we need no longer fear the water. We can jump into the sea, into the fullness of His grace.

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4 Comments on “Splash”

  1. Rachel Says:

    So well written – the imagery was excellent! Sorry you had that experience with your parents – but glad you pushed forward!


    • Nathan Says:

      Thank you so much Rachel,
      It is so good to be appreciated, thanks again.
      As far as the family thing goes, I give God the credit, and I can’t complain because He brought me through it all with bells on. It was none of my doing.
      I do want to encourage others who have had similar experiences.
      Sometimes it is not so easy to break the “everything is fine” (family secrets must stay hidden) facade, yet I am sure that there are many facades out there hiding broken hearts, I want folks to know that He is able to heal the cracks in our hearts and renew the things which are beyond repair. All the same, I don’t want to be bragging about how tough I had it. I hope it can be taken as simply a straightforward chat about what happened, because I know there are so many folks who have had it much worse.
      I would like to give them a chance to talk about it, to encourage them to bring their wounds to the Lord. He is after all, the best Doctor I’ve ever known.

  2. cindyinsd Says:

    Great post, Nathan. Like Rachel said, so descriptive. I can see the water. I love water. I have hundreds of photos of just water on my computer. 😆 They’re all different. Water is symbolic of the Holy Spirit, as I’m sure you know, and that’s one more reason to love it. Maybe the Holy Spirit always looks different–so fluid and so able to meet our needs in every situation. Always the same, yet always different. God is so cool! Thanks for an enriching meditation.


    • Nathan Says:

      You are quite welcome cindyinsd,
      It it also a very wonderful thing that water is essential for physical life. We have so much to learn about the Spiritual life, yet He has told us so much already.
      Thank you for your comment.

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