For a four year old the shallow end of the pool is safe, but the deep end, forget it.
The shallow end is where we want our lives to be – safe, familiar, nothing we can’t handle. In this life, before we know it, something tosses us into the deep end and we come up crying out – Help!
While the four year old will eventually learn to swim and enjoy cannon balling off the side, rare is the person who welcomes life’s trials. Yet there is purpose in everything – and all those times we have to fight like crazy to come up for air, to reach the side so we can hang on – they develop in us real faith.
Not the faith that says ‘Sure, I believe in God. A loving God would never let __________ happen (you fill in the blank).’
But the kind of faith that says ‘Yes, I believe in God, whatever happens He will be right there with me.’ This kind of faith not only helps the believer through those deep end times, but those who are watching from the shallow end will want to know the source of that bravery.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8 NIV) A gift from God – on our own we will cling to the wall in the shallow end never wanting to increase our faith in Him. But life has a way of either increasing our faith as we trust Him, or proving we never believed Him in the first place.
I spent over a year writing Living Braver – I learned it’s not so much about overcoming fear (unfortunately fear is right here with us) – it’s about being willing to take one brave step at a time with God and learning He truly does see us through. I don’t like the challenges and heartaches anymore than the next person, but I want to come through them not just gasping for air. I want to pull up out of the side of the pool and have a heart full of trust.
The home of the brave is in the arms of Jesus. Our home is not here, this is our temporary place. We love it, we live it, we wrestle with it, it ends. But for the believer, the brave soul being carried by Jesus, the end here is the beginning of forever.
Charles Spurgeon said: “Little faith will take your soul to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your soul.” Our faith is made great during the trials of life producing in us a joy that’s hard to express but that everyone can see. For this is not all there is and our soul rejoices in heaven now and forever…
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