We are in full fledge summer mode and in this season with littles that very much involves swim lessons. My oldest, Benjamin, will be 6 this fall and is very much capable of swimming, contrary to his belief. I have witnessed said swimming before. He has been lovingly referred to in our home as the Safety Steve of the family (he legit asked me to be quiet on the zoo train so we could all hear the safety rules a couple weeks back). In a house full of boys, I am appreciative one is doing his part to keep ER bills to a minimum. Despite Benjamin being capable of swimming, there is this little (BIG) thing called fear that keeps him observing from the sidelines instead of enjoying the freedom of his ability. This week on the way to his first swim lesson of the year, his thoughts, feelings, and questions were all over the map. “Will they let me drown? What if I swallow water? I’m going to jump off the diving board! Mom how do you know this will work? Mom, for real, do I have to do this?” I answered his concerns, reassured him of his capability, asked him to trust me and his instructor, told him he was strong and courageous, and may or may not have offered a reward in the form of a new toy for conquering his swimming fear.
Of course, I want Benjamin to be safe in the water. But just as much as I want him to be safe, I desire him to be free! To experience the freedom and fun of playing in a pool with his friends. To not be held captive by the fear. Fear is a dark, lonely, and crappy companion where lies come to reside and hopes and dreams wither away. Freedom is where we express and experience the depth, richness, joy, exhilaration, and truth of life. The thoughts, feelings, and questions that Benjamin was firing off on our drive are very similar to my own thoughts, feelings, and questions that I ask God when I am afraid. Just as I will answer, guide, and encourage Benjamin each time he is facing a current fear, God does the same for you and me. I was so thankful Benjamin was letting me into all of that, just as I know God is thankful when we let Him in on our struggles. Our God is a living God and He is a powerful God. His love, power, and truth have risen and set the sun, parted the Red Sea, conquered Goliath with a boy and a stone, and broke down walls (literally and figuratively). Love, our God, conquers all fear (1 John 4:18). I know that just as much as I want my sweet Benjamin to experience freedom from his fear, I know God wants (and has already provided) the same for us. God desires for us to rest in His love, power, and truth in order to experience the fullness of the riches of His Glory (Ephesians 1:18). I encourage you to live life trusting in the truth of our powerful Creator and freely embrace the swim.