By Hally Franz –
Several times each summer, my sister and I, along with our four children, and a few friends as well, invade the home of my mother and stepfather. They purchased an above-ground pool some years ago primarily for the grandkids, and we have enjoyed it immensely. The kids, who have all had swimming lessons, thrash and play, eat copious amounts of hot dogs and frozen pizza, and leave tired and satisfied.
My mother, on the other hand, does not swim. Recently, she commented that perhaps she could take swimming lessons. She’s watched the grandchildren complete summer lessons for years with the same outstanding teacher, and Marilu is willing to take her on as a student.
This is not to be taken lightly. Back in 2009, my sister and I attempted to teach Mom to float. We stood on either side of her, encouraging her to lift her legs and lean back, all the while with our hands securely behind her. She nearly orphaned all four of our children. By the time the ambulance arrived, Ellen and I had regained consciousness. Though initially traumatized, the kids were better after a bit of therapy, and we’ve since moved beyond it.
Okay, I’m exaggerating – a little!
Mom will turn 68 this year. It remains to be seen if she’ll learn to swim, but it wouldn’t surprise me a bit. She’s terrified of water, but willing to step outside her comfort zone. She did so when she began college after my parents’ 22-year marriage ended; we then received our degrees the same year. She did so when she went on her first date in 25 years with a bachelor nine years her junior. After they married, Mom became a mother again as I turned 24. She has moved from her comfort zone repeatedly, and been blessed because of it.
Our Heavenly Father has often asked His people to step out of familiar places into areas of uncertainty. When God called Esther to become a queen to save the Jewish people, she was certainly young and nervous. When Noah was asked to build an ark at his advanced age, he probably felt ill-equipped for the task.
Students will soon start in new schools and make big grade-level changes. New believers will rise from their pews to approach the baptistery this week. Blessed be those who are willing to walk with God, even when it means moving into strange and unknown places.
PRAYER: Almighty God, be with Your people as we take on new challenges, begin new adventures, and take leaps of faith in our daily lives. Grant us courage and guidance as we walk into unknown realms in our efforts to serve You.
BIBLE VERSE: “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV).