Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you. Psalm 9:10
According to Psychology Today, the number one reason relationships fail? Trust. Well, lack of trust. I could go into all the reasons for this, but I have a story instead.
When I first learned to swim, it was one summer when I was about 7 or 8. We used to spend summers in Colonial Beach, which is a bit past Fredericksburg, Virginia; on the Northern Neck Peninsula. I remember spending a week on the boardwalk, and also in the deep end of the pool, learning to doggy paddle and swim underwater.
This later transitioned to swimming with reckless abandon in the Potomac with my brother, with countless jellyfish. Until we upgraded to the ocean.
No worries about what dangers lurked underneath. No fear. Trusting our legs would carry us back to the surface, and the waves would not take us under.
But now? Oh, I still enjoy the pool. Because I can see what is under my feet. I enjoy the ocean. The sound. The sun. The feel of the breeze as it blows over the water. But I will NOT be getting in those waters. Because I know what lurks there. My youngest has watched enough Shark Week to keep me from EVER jumping in those waves again. I have got trust issues when it comes to the ocean. Irrational fears of sharks, and other things that may get me and take me out.
I prefer to stay on the sand now. Where it is nice and safe. Because out there in the deep end, where I can’t see what lies ahead? That is scary. Unpredictable. I don’t trust that if I stick my toe in those deep, scary waters that something wont get me, or I won’t sink.
Trust in the unknown is scary now. Why was it so much easier as a kid?
The world had not tainted me. Yet. No one had failed me. Yet. No one had disappointed me or left me. Yet. Broken my trust. Fed me a big fat lie. Taught me that life was dark and scary. That no one was throwing me a life preserver, or could even be trusted. Yet.
I was hopeful. Full of faith. Until I wasn’t. Until I put my hope and faith in people.
It is the people and the world, and the weight of those that have drowned me. That have taken away the reckless abandon I had as a kid. That keep me worried about the darkness that still lurks, or the things that may reach out, bite me, or consume me.
But it is God who tells me He has got me. Nothing is going to overtake me. There is no darkness out in those waters that I should fear. Nothing too murky for Him to see, and even if I can’t see what is underneath my feet-He does.
Yet, we continue to put our hope in people. Things. Institutions. Wealth. These things that tell us who to be. That are all to unpredictable. That won’t catch us if we drown. That convince us we are not good enough, and if we fall, will often leave to pick ourselves back up. Until we are too fearful to jump into the deep end just to see if we can actually swim out there in the unknown.
We are fearful of all the things we can’t even see.
Until we remember who we can truly trust, and where our protection comes from. Who will not leave us drowning. Whose presence will always be with us in the deep end.
I don’t have to fear what lurks ahead. He knows. He knows where my feet will wander, and He won’t let me fall. He knows the waves may get rough. There may be darkness, but His presence is before me and beside me, helping me to stay above the waves, and to see light through it all.
To keep my faith strong when it starts to waver. To trust in Him when people and the world disappoint.
Trust. Even in the unknown. Unpredictable. Scary. Confident that His plans for me are good. In the waves. On the shore, and in the deep end, He won’t let me be taken under. I can keep jumping in as long as I put my trust in Him.