A Father’s Strength and a Leap of Faith
I’m from the Pacific Northwest, Washington State to be exact. Therefore, I’m more of a mountain, camping, hiking girl rather than a hot-beach type of girl. I also love the rain, although I don’t like intense, humid heat. I have lived in Georgia for close to twenty years now; I’m still not accustomed to the hot Atlanta summers (i.e. the radio stations refer to Atlanta as “Hot-lanta.”) I only say all this to say that when my daughter, Faith, was 2-years-old, I forced myself into a swimsuit and the pool in my attempt to be a good mom. It was my duty to at least get in the water for my 2-year-old’s sake, never-mind my personal feelings about the weather. So, there I was, standing in the shallow end, encouraging Faith to “jump” to me. She was as cute as she could be with her aqua and yellow polka-dot toddler swim-suit, complimented by her dark-black hair and equally black eyes.
She just stood there. “C’mon, Faith, you can do it, jump to Mom,” I said. She still stood there. “Hmm, I thought to myself. This is not working, and frankly, I don’t blame her. I’m not so excited about this pool and heat thing either.” My husband, Brian, (who was born in Florida and loves the heat and the beach and would wear flip-flops year round if he could), dove into the deep end and swam underwater for the length of the pool and grabbed my ankles. Then, he jumped up like a geyser and stood next to me in the shallow end, shaking the water off of his head and clapping,
“C’mon Faith, jump to Dad!” He said in a big, booming voice, accompanied by an even larger smile. Faith didn’t miss a beat. In fact, she backed up about 5 feet and took a racing, jumping leap into Brian’s arms. She squealed and laughed and clapped and proceeded to do it over and over again for the next 30 minutes. I stood there, rather stunned at what had just happened.
Since I grew up without an earthly father, I have been humbly honored and fascinated to watch my husband and children interact. The father-child relationship is an absolutely beautiful thing! I realized that even at 2-years-old, Faith had a confidence, assurance, and secure belief in her father’s strength and ability to catch her. She was merely 2 years-old. I was intrigued by the fact that even though she was not yet old enough to express her faith in words, she energetically expressed it in her split-second running leap. As I watched her adorable, aqua and yellow polka-dotted little body fly through the air (over and over again), it was evident that she had an absolute faith in her father’s physical strength to catch her.
I’ve thought about this over the years and I have compared Faith’s relationship with her earthly father to my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I thought, “Wow, God! Let me trust you that much! I think it’s perfect that Faith’s name is Faith Ashley, rather than Ashley Faith because her first name, combined with her trusting 2-year-old leap, so perfectly captures the essence of the relationship I want to have with You. Please help me, and every person who read this, trust in your ability to catch us.
Help us to do as Faith did at 2-years-old. Help us have the courage to even back up 5 feet if necessary so that we too can take a running leap off the ledge of our circumstances into the security of Your faithful arms - just like faith leaped to Brian – even more so. I know you are a fun, loving, strong, energetic, pool-length swimming Father who encouragingly and confidently awaits your children to trust You that much!
It is God who arms me with strength.
II Samuel 22:33
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her website, https://kristinaseymour.com/. God loves to share His story of love and grace through us all, and Kristina believes that everyone has a story to tell.