Taking the plunge

The little boy must have been about four years old. I watched with interest as his dad walked to the edge of the diving board at the deep end of the pool and showed him how to dive. The boy clapped and cheered at the splash his dad made as he entered the water, but when encouraged to jump in as well, he backed away apprehensively. “Don’t worry, son,” his dad assured him. “I’ll catch you.”

After some prodding, the boy ventured to the end of the diving board and teetered there, signaling wildly to his dad in the water below to come a little closer. “No, Dad, a little more this way! … No, that way!” This went on for a while until I thought for sure he was going to take the plunge. But at the last second, he chickened out, turned around, and walked back to the poolside, his head lowered sadly.

Rather than express disappointment, his dad patiently urged him not to give up and finally coaxed him back to the end of the diving board. The whole procedure was repeated until the boy finally jumped into the waiting arms of his father. The look on his dad’s face said it all. “You did it, son! I’m so proud of you!”

I’m a lot like that little boy. For several months, I’ve been in the process of pulling up stakes and preparing to move to another country where new work, new experiences, and new friends are waiting. But even though I’ve determined that this change is going to be good, I still worry at times about how it’s all going to turn out.

God says, “Don’t worry! Just take the plunge! I’m right here in front of you, and I’m going to catch you! I won’t let you down!”

But I argue, “Okay, I’ll jump, but could You just come a little bit closer? Could You move a little this way or a little that way, so I can feel more secure?”

God, who is infinitely more patient than any earthly father could ever be, continues to assure me that I can trust Him. And He’s right about that, of course. He’s always been there to catch me, and no one rejoices at my little victories like He does. So once again I will take the plunge.