By Pam Horton
Do you remember playing the trust game, where one person falls backwards and (hopefully) someone catches them? I’m sure you’ve seen it on a TV show.
Usually, on TV, it’s a sitcom and the person falls to the floor. Ouch! When you play that game, you have to trust and believe that someone will catch you. People who don’t trust and believe that someone will catch them won’t play the game, because to properly play, you have to just relax and fall.
One recent, very beautiful, warm sunny day I was in the pool and had just pushed off the wall, ever so slightly, into a back float. I love to float on my back and let the water support the burden of my body weight. I remember thinking, “How cool is it that I know the water will hold me up?”
Then it crossed my mind that learning to float is very much like learning to trust God. An odd analogy, you say? Bear with me…
I taught our granddaughter how to float. She preferred a front float, because she could see what she was doing and was in control of when she put her face in the water and brought it back up. A back float proved a little more difficult for her. It took numerous tries before she would relax enough to let the water hold her up. Each time she would feel me let go, she’d sit up and go under. As my touches got lighter, she actually floated for a second or two, but when she realized she was floating, she’d tense up and go under.
Eventually, she came to believe that the water would actually hold her up—if she would relax enough. And then, not only did she believe the water would keep her up, but she also trusted the water to keep her up. Of course, once she relaxed and let the water support the burden of her body weight, she floated!
Can you see how this is comparable to a relationship with God?
As Christians, we know that “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me’” (John 14:6 NKJV). In order to fully know God, we must first know Jesus.
When you play the trust game with other people, you have a solid, tangible, person who should catch you. When you float, it’s a little harder to believe that water, which is a liquid that you can’t hold, is going to hold you up, or catch you when gently fall. If you relax enough, it will even bring you back up to the top when you fall in.
However, water is something you can see, so it is a little easier to believe that water will catch you than it may be to believe that Jesus, who is now humanly unseen, will catch you.
I’m sure you know the story of Peter walking on the water. When Jesus approached the boat, walking on the water, Peter asked to join him. Jesus said, “Come on out.” Peter was doing a great job because he believed in Jesus. Then Peter grasped the human reality of the situation and started to doubt. How could he be walking on water? He began to sink. What did he do then—did he swim for the boat, or tread water, or back float? No, he called out for Jesus to save him. (See Matthew 14:22-33.)
To believe and trust in Jesus is easy for some, but not so easy for others. Much like the trust game and a back float, it can take some time and practice to learn. Much like floating, once you believe and trust in Jesus (the living water), it is extremely relaxing and enjoyable.
If you are not a Christian and would like to experience the rest that floating with Jesus can bring, reach out to someone who is floating around you. Ask them to tell you their story. Some things start with baby steps.
I hope you will, eventually, take that leap of faith to trust and believe in God so that someday I may see you in the pools of Heaven floating with Jesus.
Pam Horton grew up believing in Jesus. As a teenager and young adult, she turned away from her faith for a few years. Once she came back around to understand that it’s not about religion, but a relationship, she began a never-ending quest to grow closer to God. Through this process, she has learned to stress less and choose joy. Pam has published seven nonfiction books that are available through Amazon. She has also written articles for the Military Counseling Initiative and Youth Worker, as well as being featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Grandparents. Pam and her husband, Jim, own NewDirection Life Coaching, where they encourage others to move positively forward.