When we took our son and granddaughter on vacation to Huntington Beach, Chloe was only 3. She’d never felt sand. Jon put her down to walk on the beach, but she picked one foot up and looked at him wondering if he was going to let her walk on this funny feeling stuff. He encouraged her along to the edge of the water. The waves mesmerized her, and once again she looked up at him wondering if getting in that water was a good plan. He encouraged her to take little steps into the water to let it wash over first her toes, then her feet, then her ankles and finally it was up to her knees. He stood with her there, holding her hand for quite a while, but she was reluctant to go any further.
I get that. Each time I stand on an ocean beach I understand that the land is my world and the ocean is the not. It is a place of strange and fierce and beautiful creatures that are very much not like me. I become a visitor to that realm when I go into the water.
Isn’t it like us to continue to stand on the comforting sand of our well-controlled lives instead of answering the Spirit’s voice to walk into the water of a deeper relationship with Jesus. We know the sand, we don’t know what it will be like to abandon our control and immerse ourselves in his life. His kingdom and his ways are strange and fierce yet beautiful and filled with joy.
Eventually, Jon picked Chloe up into his arms and began to swim with her. Safe with her father, she allowed the waves to roll over her and laughed with joy. We, too, only go deeper in the comfort of the Father’s love. He’s not going to let anything happen to us that will hurt us. If we can feel his love and protection, we will find new joy as we immerse ourselves in him.