Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Jump In!

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted, but I’ve been working on jumping in. God’s continued to push me to make leaps in certain areas of my life, and I’ve been trying hard to follow that call. Here’s some of what I’ve been discovering.

It started with Peter. God kept putting him on my heart. That whole jumping out of the boat story of his. There Peter sat in the middle of a storm, watching the waves buffet the boat he was in, and he decides to jump. Why? I mean, really, would you? It sure isn’t an easy thing to do. And I imagine it depends on who we are and where we’re at.

You see, I think there are three different types of jumpers out there. Go watch an hour of swimming lessons with little kids and you’ll discover what I mean. There’s one thing they all have in common: the lifeguard. You know the one. He’s treading water underneath the board, calling for the child to jump, coaxing them out. His purpose is to give them a life saving skill, to break their fear of the water and teach them how to survive in the midst of it. All the while he’s promising them they won’t get hurt, he’ll take care of them, he’ll meet them there…they’ll survive.

At the board there’s a line of kids waiting. They all see the lifeguard out there. They all hear his call. But they all behave so differently.

First, there are those who hesitantly approach the edge of that board. Their little toes sliding slowly forward with each step. Realization that they have to jump - whether from obedience or just the acknowledgement of the inevitable - fills them; they will do this. So they inch forward, their bodies quaking but their minds determined. They may do it slowly, but still they do it. They jump!

Next comes along the screamer. The child who claws at every pole they can find, and flails along the board as they are pulled by someone bigger than them. They must jump but they cannot understand why…they don’t even want to understand it! They don’t want to jump! (Oh, each of my children were this child, and I can still hear their screams.) But it is imperative that they do. Though it’s scary, they have to jump to learn to be safe. To no longer be afraid. These are the ones that need a little push above their protests. But they also jump.

Then there is the child who sprints for the end. They see the lifeguard, and they know they’ll be safe. They don’t even question it. Perhaps they’ve made the jump enough times to feel its freedom, or maybe they are so familiar with the lifeguard they know he’ll protect him. Maybe they’re just fearless. Whatever the reason, they throw out their arms, run, jump, sometimes even doing a little spin on the end coated with laughter and a KOW-WA-BUNGA! They jump. With flair.

I think Peter was the last of these. Maybe there was a bit of hesitation, but I think he was still coming off the amazement of what he’d just watched his Lord do. Jesus had just performed the miracle of feeding the five-thousand. Can you even imagine what excitement that evening had brought? How it strengthened his belief that Jesus could do anything? So certainly, once he’d realized it was Jesus out there on that water, once he heard his voice, Peter jumped!

I want to stop here and hit on one important point. Peter didn’t leave that boat until he KNEW it was Jesus calling him. He questioned him, “Lord if it’s you…” and when Jesus answered, he came. He didn’t keep questioning, he didn’t hesitate, he was out of that boat. But he knew it was Jesus who had called him first. If you’re going to jump, be sure of who’s calling you and catching you.

So, what kind of jumper are you? I think I’ve been each in my life, but I’m working on becoming like Peter. I hear you Lord, and I’m jumping! Now, we all know things changed a little once Peter hit that water, but that’s for next time. For now, work on your jump. Jesus is out there. Learn to recognize his voice. When He calls…JUMP! He's your life guard, and He will catch you every time.

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