It’s a bright and sunny day and my sister and I head outside for a dip in the pool. I climb the stairs to the wood deck my dad had built, sit down, and dangle my feet in the water. Thus began the ritual of getting in the water. Bit by bit. Slowly so as to acclimatize to the temperature. Eventually I get there, but the process couldn’t be hurried. “Come on!” my sister would yell, “Just jump in!” Cautiously I would enter, but that lasted only until I was completely wet. Once wet, the diving, jumping and the cannonballs would start. No matter how many times I would use that pool, the initial process of getting wet didn’t change.
As I got older, the process never changed. Caution first; fun after. It didn’t matter if I were at a pool, or a lake, the way I got in never changed. I would look around at everyone else and see the fun happening all around me, but it never enticed me to go any faster. Envy and longing to join in would try to push me, but it never changed the process. Toes first, then the legs, a quick dip perhaps to get to my waist, but then bob right back out again. Then the hard parts…the tummy and the chest. Bob in, bob out. Once I was “all the way” in then perhaps I would dunk my head. The process would seem to take forever, but to jump straight in seemed too much all at once. Something always held me back from running and jumping right in.
I still use the same process in life; sometimes to my own detriment I think. When it comes to new things, I approach with caution. When it comes to the things of God, there too, I approach with trepidation. There is longing, there is want, but there is also a caution, perhaps a fear, that causes me to enter in slowly, to take it step by step.
The Bible uses many analagies to describe the Holy Spirit; dove, fire, water to name a few. The image of Him as water, as that part of God that supports, bouys, and covers you, makes me think of getting into the pool, of a child learning to swim, to trust.
God the Father is there, as is big brother Jesus. I am the child and I can’t help but conjure up a picture of the Father holding out His hands saying “Jump, I’ll catch you”. And just like a little child, I am standing there nervous, trembling, wanting to know what will happen if I do jump. Will I really be caught? Will I have fun there like the big kids I see frolicking in the water behind Him? The water looks so deep, and intimidating.
He doesn’t push. He cajoles. He encourages. He allows me to get in at my pace, and once there I have to choice but to learn to dog-paddle, to kick and blow bubbles, to revel in the freedom that is found within His arms.
I know this process. I know it well for it happens time and again. Each time I glance with envy at those that seem to have no care and can jump in with both feet. Who splash and frolick with Him and the Holy Spirit with equal abandon. Yet, each time I go to enter the throne room, I enter slowly, toes first, then the legs, and slowly the rest of me follows.
“Come” is all He says, and holds out His hand.
image care of goodsamaritanbibleinstitute.ning.com