(Join the Conversation – a summer series inviting conversation and engagement. Leave a comment on Facebook or Twitter)
Learning to Swim:
As I taught my son to swim, I encouraged him to jump off the diving board into my arms. He was scared. It took a lot of coaxing. I repeated, “I’ll catch you … I’ve got you … trust me … jump in.” Finally, he leapt into my arms and a big smile came to his little face. Learning to swim takes trust that the one who promises to catch us will really hold on, and that it will be fun and not kill us.
In John 4 Jesus invites the woman at the well to jump into the living water. She is so exhausted by her circumstances and consumed by the shame of troubled relationships she does not see the refreshing beauty of what Jesus offers.
I get this woman, even though I’ve not been married five times, I have felt overwhelmed by my circumstances. The exhausting shame blocks her from seeing and receiving Jesus love. She’s the person drowning who fights against the one coming to her rescue.
Jesus says, instead of pushing me away – if you knew me, you would ask me if you could jump in the pool with me (v.10 my paraphrase).
Isn’t it true that often our trials block us from recognizing how much Jesus has for us. We flail about attempting to find satisfaction in the plastic water bottles of the world that we miss his ocean of grace.
Jeremiah 2:13 captures the problem:
“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
We’re trying to swim in the world’s empty pools and reject the deep love and satisfaction of Christ. Maybe fear, shame, doubt or 100 other distractions keep us from resting in his arms and learning to swim. It’s hard to relax and swim when you’re fearful.
But faith says, I may be fearful, but He is trustworthy. His love is real and strong. We don’t have to be strong to rest in His living water, we simply have to let go of our broken cisterns and accept that he will catch us and hold us, forever.
What might you need to let go of to enjoy the living waters? What if, in reality, you are already in the living waters and held by Jesus? Oh, then I could rest in the safety of his arms and enjoy swimming.