Devotional: The Diving Board

Sunday afternoon was dripping with warm Georgia sunshine, and our family was invited to the house of some friends who have a pool.  Six-year-old Cousin Ainsley turned out to be quite the fish, although still learning to swim.  With her life-jacket on, she was unstoppable—except for the diving board.  I’m not sure if it was the two-foot drop off diving board, or the 8-foot deep water, but since she had no trouble sailing off the zip-line later, I’m guessing it was the deep water.Each time Ainsley watched the other kids easily spring off the diving board, her desire grew to conquer this fear.  At some point, she pulled her mother off the pool lounge chair and over to the diving board.  Her mom walked out to the edge of the diving board with her, and grasping both of Ainsley’s hands, slowly lowered her into the water—with a mixed reaction of fear, delight and much thrashing.  This happened several times, but still Ainsley could not bring herself to take the plunge by herself. The Diving Board

Finally, as the sun lowered, Ainsley seemed to know her time was short.  It was now or never.  Once again, she pulled her mom over to the diving board.  But this time, her mom wisely stepped back and encouraged Ainsley to do it by herself, since she knew that was really what Ainsley wanted.  Ainsley hesitated, caught in the middle of her desire and her fear.  Suddenly she walked over to the diving board, and bent her small life-jacketed body over it, and bowed her head.

“She’s praying,” her mom said.  After her short prayer for courage, Ainsley stepped up on the diving board, walked to the edge, looked at her mom for final instructions and…jumped!  As she emerged from the splashes and cheers of her proud mom and onlookers, a series of emotions swept across her face—terror, relief, and finally elation. “I want to do it again!” she said.  And she did, many more times.

I have a feeling that “diving board prayers” are some of our Father’s favorite prayers to hear and answer.  Those prayers give Him permission to change the unchangeable, to transform hearts, and awaken our praise and wonder as we witness His power displayed…all because we stopped to ask for a little help.  Only when we will are willing to faith-dive into the waters of complete dependence on Him will we truly know the joy of Jesus’ abundant life.

Whatever our “diving boards” are, we always have the choice to bow humbly and “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”  (Heb. 4:16, NIV)

*Twice a month, we send out a short devotional to our volunteers. This devotional was written by Andrea Keele and sent out June 5, 2014.

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