Taking the first dive

Gina Hatchett

Gina Hatchett

As we paddled around the river bend, I glanced up to my left. Standing up high was a crowd of wetsuit-clad people lined up to slide down a flipped over white water raft that was propped on a boulder.

Our raft guide directed us to “park”, so we could join in on the fun. My raft mates and I watched in awe as one by one the rafters chose their positions. There was the “safety first” position of laying down with back straight and arms crossed over life jackets, the “superman” with arms out and bellies down and the least commonly used “fearless rebel”, who turns backwards, arms crossed, and is willingly pushed in by the raft guides.

I knew I wanted to be the fearless rebel. But just as quickly as the feeling came, it was abruptly replaced with deep pangs of fear. I took into account the risk and uncertainty of doing so. Which reminds me … isn’t this what happens to us when we are called to take a step of faith?

It excites us, makes us feel giddy, and we are all-in until we just aren’t anymore. Doubt settles in and we question where the initial idea even came from. Was that God? Was that just me having crazy, wild thoughts? How are we supposed to navigate through these feelings?

Proverbs 3:5-6 reads “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” Again in Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Sometimes God is going to call us to do crazy things for Him, like travel to Greece to serve refugees for a summer, or completely trust in Him when you are convinced you do not have money to pay your bills for the month or giving up something in your life that you have been holding onto too tightly.

However, we can be assured that we are never alone in these moments. God is always with us, keeping us close and guiding us through it all.

Can you guess what I did? I said to myself, “Self, you will never get this opportunity again to be here with these people doing this.” When it was my turn, I sat down on the raft facing the water and then slowly pivoted myself so I was face-to-face with the raft guide.

With a slightly surprised expression, a smile crept on his face as he gave me life-saving instructions. Next thing I knew, I was rolling backward down the slide, tossed carelessly in the raging blue water, and right when I thought I was going to drown, a hand plunged into the water, grabbed my life jacket, and hauled my frozen body into the raft boat.

Oh, the adventure! As this semester is kicking off and steps of faith are in order, be faithful to take that first dive and the Lord will prove Himself faithful in the rest.