Oh, help me, God! For thou alone
Canst my distracted soul relieve.
Forsake it not: it is thine own,
Though weak, yet longing to believe. (Anne Brontë)
Unbelief is as much a choice as belief is. What makes it in many ways more appealing is that whereas to believe in something requires some measure of understanding and effort, not to believe doesn’t require much of anything at all. (Frederick Buechner)
As we discovered yesterday with the story about the farmer in the Amazon River basin, to believe in something is to rest all of your weight on that something. Think about the first time you ever went to the pool. The older kids who knew how to swim were doing cannonballs into the deep end and playing Marco Polo in the shallows. The teenage boys were casting furtive glances at the lifeguard in her red one-piece, sunglasses, and layers of tanning lotion. The adults were laying in reclining lawn chairs around the edge of the pool, far enough away to be out of the splash zone.
But you took no notice of any of this. You were too busy contemplating your next action. You were standing by the edge of the pool, your toes curled over the cement lip of the shallow end. You had your arms crossed in front of you and your knees bent in. Your teeth chattered – from either fear or cold, you couldn’t tell. And there was your Dad standing three feet from you. He was standing waist deep in the water like a titan, impervious to Poseidon’s attempts to plunge him under. And he was extending his arms out to you, beckoning you to jump. He would catch you, of course, he said. You would not drown. You would be safe. You would have fun once you got used to the water. All you needed to do was jump into his arms.
You had a choice to make. You could waddle back to the safety of the towels and the bag with your older sister’s change of clothes in it. Or you could jump, believing with all your might that your Dad would catch you, that you could rest all of your weight in his embrace.
Dear God, I believe that you hold your hands out to catch me whenever I begin to fall. Help me to remember that when I take a leap of faith, you are both the water into which I plunge and the hands that help me float. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.
I leave this moment with you, God, knowing that you are the foundation of all truth. You believe in me, which allows me to believe in you.