Saturday, July 13, 2013

Inner City Diving

I felt as though I were transported back in time.  Moms were lined up on the deep end of the pool, cameras ready, waiting to capture the moment when their child took that leap off the diving board.  But now, with my children much older, this event is no big deal, scarcely even camera worthy.

As I heard the encouragement, the clapping, and cheering of those moms, I could not help but think of our growth in Christ.  As new believers, we receive much coaching and applause.  But then time passes and there is a lot less cheering and more expectation because we are grown up and what was once terrifying becomes common place.

I fear apathy.  Never do I want to become stagnant in my relationship with God.  This is why I often deliberately place myself in challenging situations, so that I might be forced to depend upon the power of Christ in me.

I've been to the inner city many times before.  But one thing I've noticed over the years is that God never lets me get comfortable with His work through me.  Yet, I like everything to be neat and tidy.  I prayed for God to give me some lesson plans and He did.  But then I found out they would not be needed.  Why would God answer my prayer for no purpose?

I was disappointed that this neat little package of lessons would not be used in the way I had intended.  After some churning and mulling, I suddenly realized these truths were not necessarily for the children on the streets, but for my own heart.  I needed to be reassured that "My Life Matters", and I needed to have the confidence that "I Have What It Takes to Overcome".  I was beginning to think I was alone and God was telling me that "I Am Not Alone", and that God could indeed use me to "Be A Peacemaker". 

Our team going to Los Angeles may still be teaching these lessons to children.  I really don't know how God will use them.   But I do know that they now run far deeper as they are being incorporated into my own life.  God is removing the "me" from the equation as He increases and I decrease.  Sometimes in order for God to work through me, I have to get out of the way.  Okay, so that is the case every time.  And maybe these lessons are meant for our team rather than the people out there.

As I sat at the pool behind these moms snapping pictures of their brave ones, little did they know it was my daughter their children clung to.  She was the lifeguard peeling little fingers from her legs and coaxing terrified bodies into the water.  Okay, so sometimes she had to push them off the end of the board.  Some of the kids came up sputtering, screaming their little heads off and others seemed shocked that it was such a pleasant experience.   

God is peeling my hands from what I thought was my own and asking me to plunge into trust, confidence, and delight.  Often my planning is overkill and simply a desire to play it safe.  I cannot throw preparation to the wind.  There is a balance.  But in this case, I believe God would have me splash into his surprises, knowing He has everything under control.  And maybe I can be the mom who cheers on these young people to do the same. 

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