Once upon a time…
A little girl wearing a floatation ring is coaxed into the ocean, past the breaking wavelets to the calmer waters. Her daddy is standing up right next to her, but she panics when she realizes her little feet don’t reach the sand on the ocean floor. She isn’t comforted by the fact that she’s floating in the ring she’s sitting in, or by the fact that her father is right there, watching protectively over her. She knows three things for sure: she knows the ocean is very big, she knows she is small, and she knows her feet don’t reach the ground.
“Daddy I can’t stand up!”
In her panic, she would prefer to be pummeled by the breaking waves at the shore, where her feet reach the ground, then to trust her father and float in calmer waters, where her feet can’t touch anything.
Have you ever felt like that little girl, floating where you can’t stand up? Have you ever felt that you’d rather go back and be pummeled, because at least you would know you were standing on your own two feet? Have you ever not trusted, maybe doubted your strength or training in the face of something big, like that young early swimmer?
Sometimes it can be hard to trust, to have faith that we are not swimming alone in waters too deep for us. For those moments, remember that Jesus said “Lo, I am with you always, even until the end of days.” When we remember Jesus with us, we realize that, like the little girl, we don’t need to be so afraid. Maybe that’s why Jesus (and the angels) often said, “fear not.”
The ocean may be big, we may be small and our feet may not reach the ground, but fear not, because we’re never alone.