There was a little boy ahead of me crying and not wanting to jump, the teacher kept soothing him and trying to speak courage to him, but he wasn’t having any of it. She said for him to let someone else go in the meantime. I was so excited to jump into the water that I pushed past this kid running, held my nose, and jumped in! I paddled myself to the ladder and said I was ready to go again!
It was around 1977, I was probably 6, and my family was in Ocean City Maryland for a beach holiday. My dad noticed that the hotel where we were staying provided swimming lessons, and signed me up to learn. Other than pushing past the boy who didn’t want to jump in, I only remember the teacher starting the lesson by saying we were to jump off the diving board into the deep end and dog paddle to the ladder and climb out. The teacher went into the water and positioned herself in the middle of the pool toward the deep end drop off and said she’d be there to help us as we jumped in.
Today, that fearless childlike innocence is still somewhere inside me. I’m praying it comes out more. I see glimmers of it…when talking about the things of God, I have said many times that I’d rather be in the deep end, because I will either sink or swim. I believe it’s where we grow. Confirmation:
In a visit with an awesome man of God at my bank, we talked about waiting on God. He mentioned the statement that people make: “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle”, and said that in his own time of waiting and seeking God he received a word from the Lord that that wasn’t right. He said: “No, I will…give you more than you can handle.”
And that is truth, as hard as it is, He does ask us to jump into the deep end through asking us to wait for Him: to provide, for Him to release it, for Him to heal it, for Him to deliver.
After the 29 years of waiting in the Lord for Matthew to come home, and other instances God has asked me to wait…I am here to tell you – Yes, He will give us more than we handle. I know, because the 29 year wait is not within mine or any other’s human ability, it is ONLY by God! When we go through stuff that ONLY God can do, we are in deeper water than we can handle…we’re in the deep end with our Teacher!
Is. 43:1-4 “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead-end— Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.”
We are stretching out our flesh and faith; we are growing as we wait in the Lord. That is why it is a hard place to be, not because He is being hard on us, but because our flesh is screaming for its way and timing instead of God’s way and timing. We know how things should go, and know what we want, when we want it, and that is enough for us in our own fleshly thinking… BUT GOD wants so much more for us than what we are demanding, or dreaming of, or even waiting on…because we can’t fathom His plan for us.
The question should not be; “Why, GOD?”, when we are asked to wait, we shouldn’t get an attitude of ingratitude about it. We must remember His character (Ps.77:11-12), and His love for us. Treading water in the deep end is to do a work in us, which works together for our good! We can choose our response; we can let our hearts get hard, or we can turn to our loving Savior and ask: “What part of my flesh needs to come off God, I’m in?” We can either let it drown us, or we can swim and reach that ladder to go up higher in Him.
He wants to give us His fullness, He wants to pour out the full measure of the blessings that He’s dipped out for us, He wants us to grow up, grow strong, grow fierce, and all that comes in the stripping away of the flesh, the bending a knee, in the submitting to Him as Lord of our life, and the giving up of our way/our plan to wait, trust, and accept His plan and His time.
God knows I’m waiting. He hasn’t forgotten me or you in your wait. It is His will to give it, but He puts the higher value on who we will be in Him, because who we will be for Him is the point of our life. There is also the possibility that Father knows we must grow in order to hold onto that which we are waiting to receive.
I think it’s amazing the request to jump into that pool mirrored what He’d do in my life, when not many more years later He had an even “deeper end” He’d ask me to jump into. I’m still in that deep end and I don’t think I can fathom all He’s done with it or will do with it, because as the verse says: We haven’t seen, we haven’t heard, and we can’t conceive what God has planned for us.
But if we will wait on Him when He asks us too, which is to take that leap into the deep end, we will see and hear and know God’s best for our life.
“However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”[a]—the things God has prepared for those who love him—
these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-11 (NIV)