by Sandy Kirby Quandt
When I was 9 or 10, I climbed a very high ladder that led to the top of a diving platform on the edge of a lake in Georgia. Our family went to the lake with one of my uncles and his family.
Sissy was there, but she decided only idiots would climb that platform and jump however many feet into the lake below. She may have been right. 😉
So that left Butter, my three male cousins, and me to take the plunge. My cousins had jumped from the platform many times and thought it was the best thing south of the Mason Dixon Line.
I have to tell you, I was scared to death, but I wasn’t going to let Cousin Wayne call me a chicken baby pants. So I followed him, and the rest of the boys, up that high ladder.
I knew it was okay if I didn’t want to jump. I could climb back down if I wanted to. But I kept going.
Butter jumped into the lake ahead of me and waited. I think he might have waited so he could pull me out of the abyss if I got into trouble. Smart brother.
There’s no telling how long I stood on that platform before I jumped. I think Wayne may have jumped, got out of the lake, and run back up the ladder before I ever took that first leap.
Finally, I closed my eyes, stepped off the edge, plunged to the lake, and screamed my lungs out.
When I hit the surface I kept falling.
Arms and legs went every which a way as I struggled to the surface, burst through the water, gulped for air, clutched onto Butter, and determined not to ever do that again. No matter what Cousin Wayne called me.
In life we face challenges that scare us. We climb high ladders away from the safety of the known and jump into the abyss of the unknown.
If my brother hadn’t been waiting for me in the water, who knows? I may not have jumped. Knowing he was there to help if I got into trouble, gave me the confidence to step off that platform.
Jesus calls us to take steps of faith but he doesn’t ask us to jump alone. Maybe the high platform we’re standing on is a health concern. Maybe it’s a family concern. The platform we’re standing on could be a financial one. Maybe it’s a strained relationship.
Whatever high platform we’re standing on that frightens us, Jesus is with us every step of the way. He goes before us, and he comes behind us. Jesus is our strength. Our shield. And our protector.
Just as Butter did the day I jumped into a south Georgia lake, Jesus waits for us when we jump. He waits for us so he can help if we start to struggle. He’s right there with us, pulling us up from the murky water into the safety of his arms.
With Jesus beside us, climbing up those high ladders and jumping off those scary platforms of life don’t have to be so frightening.
Have you ever jumped into a lake from a high platform? If so, did you do it a second time?
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For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. Psalms 27:5 (NIV)
I wish you well.
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