“The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still” -Exodus 14:14
I don’t really do water. Pretty much as a blanket rule, I avoid water in the wild at all costs. I am afraid of it, I can’t swim, I have few good memories around water.
Last week, I had the amazing opportunity to go to Israel with Young Life Europe. This trip was life changing, and I feel like I am still marveling and processing the time. This trip involved water. While we were in the Holy Land, we had the opportunity to see the Jordan River, and the Dead Sea. These were by far the two most impactful places on our journey.
We started the day by having a time of quiet at the Jordan River. Having a quiet time at the place where Jesus was baptized is something everyone should add to their bucket list. I found a place in the shade (it was over 100 degrees and I was melting), and watched my friends stick their feet in the Jordan. I was very happy in the shade. But then, the next thing I knew, my feet were moving, walking towards the water (Really something never in my life I have done).
I walked over to the edge, where there is a staircase to enter the river. Right when I got there, I felt a sense of unworthiness. This water had a history, a really holy history. This was not just another river. But I felt the peace and assurance of the Lord telling me to put my feet in the water. So I did. Clinging to the handrail like it was my life line.
And then I took a step deeper. And lessened my grip. And another step, lessening of grip. I took one final step and let go of the railing completely.
Our next stop of the day was the Dead Sea. I had heard that you float in the Dead Sea. As a rule of thumb, I don’t float, I can’t float, and I am afraid to float, so I didn’t believe it. I was wrong, you float. I think it is actually impossible to sink. If all water was like the Dead Sea, I think I would enjoy swimming. There was such freedom in knowing you were safe, the water would hold you. There was no effort involved, just letting go and sitting back. It felt like freedom.
If I were to give an antidote to my past year, this day would be it. I clung (cling) so tightly to control, reluctantly taking each step, but with each step, learning to trust God more. Moving slowly into deeper waters. Leaning back, knowing I will not sink.