The Love of a Father

I remember looking on as my older brother, who was probably six or seven at the time (putting me around the age of five), pulled himself out of the pool and turned to offer me a hand.

We had managed to make our way over to the deep end against the very strict rules of our parents, and at the age of five, I hadn’t quite mastered the skill of swimming yet, though I had no fear.

My trustee floaty was keeping me safe.

Or so I thought.

In an attempt to get out of the pool, I slipped off my floaty and before I knew it, was sitting at the bottom of the deep end.

At five years old I suppose I should have been freaking out, but I wasn’t.

I very distinctly remember sitting there, not really knowing what to do, but knowing without a doubt that my dad would come.

I remember thinking, “…any minute now. I know he’ll come…”

Sure enough, my dad was there, pulling me back up to the surface where my mom was looking on. I knew it had scared them terribly, but I was as calm as ever.

I knew he would come.

And he did.

I’ve found myself at the bottom of the deep end many times since then. Not in the literal sense of course, but rather in my walk with Christ.

The deep end can be a very scary place. Our vision is blurred by the confusion and tears, we can’t seem to breathe and every time we try, we suffocate on the pain that’s overwhelming us, and the surface is so far away we find ourselves way in over our heads.

We sit at the bottom and hope to God that we are rescued, because we know we don’t have it in us to rescue ourselves. We don’t know how.

So we panic.

We fight to get back to the surface on our own, and when we’ve fought long enough, we simply give up in our frailty and accept what our lives have become.

I’ve been in over my head many times, fighting back with every ounce of strength I’ve had left because that’s what we do as Christians, right?

We fight.

We fight to be okay.

We fight to be happy.

We fight to have it all together.

We fight to have hope.

We’re always fighting, and for what? Why?

I think little 5-year old me was onto something.

She knew that there was someone who would, without a doubt, rescue her. She had no need to fight; to try and get back to the surface on her own because she knew the love of her father.

She knew that her father loved her too much to leave her there at the bottom of the deep end.

Jennie Allen sheds some light on this topic in her book Nothing to Prove. She explains that the reason we can rest; the reason we can sit calmly at the bottom of the deep end is not because the job is easy. We have a long ways to go to get back to the surface and it is certainly not because we have the capability of doing so on our own either.

No. We can rest because we know the love of our Father in Heaven.

I think too often we forget that God doesn’t want anything from us.

He isn’t sitting at a distance, allowing us to approach only if we’re okay, happy, have it all together, and practice hope and trust in Him without fault.

This is why we fight so hard though, isn’t it?

We think that if we’re not fighting, we’re not living passionately.

My friend, fighting and living with passion are two very different things.

In order to show my passion for baseball, I go to the College World Series with my dad and family every year for Father’s Day.

We enjoy ourselves; taking in the atmosphere, having our fair share of hotdogs, and making many wonderful memories along the way.

There’s not a whole lot of fighting involved in this scenario, is there? Sure, we might have to fight the crowd, but you get my point.

God wants us, He doesn’t want what we can give Him.

Instead of fighting to earn enough money to give my dad a ticket to the Series, I can say without a doubt that he would much rather go to the games with me rather than receive a ticket from me.

Jesus wants you. He wants to be with you.

When we quit fighting and rest patiently and contently in the knowledge of His unending, perfect love for us as His children, passion will come more naturally than breath itself.

To live with passion for Christ is to live with Him, not for Him.  -Jennie Allen

If you’re sitting at the bottom of the deep end right now, I want you to remember something. Remember that the God you serve is a BIG God; a perfect God, and an all-loving Father.

He doesn’t need your fight, He wants your heart.

I know it might hurt and I know it can be scary, but be at rest in knowing the love of a Father that loves His children way too much to leave them at the bottom of the deep end forever.

 

*This blog post is dedicated to the man who pulled me out of the deep end that day 18 years ago and has continued to remind me every day since then how much I am  loved by my heavenly Father. You have shown me how to live life with purpose and have taught me how to face the challenges with strength and humor.
I love you Dad!
Happy Father’s Day!

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