When You Need a Hero
Last week as we were in Kentucky visiting my wife’s family, it was hot. Not only was it hot, it was record-breaking-horribly-humid-take–your-breath-away-108°F hot.
Alaska people are not used to such things so we thankfully had access to a swimming pool that we spent many hours in (with generous amounts of sunscreen that still didn’t help me).
This pool had a diving board and a slide. My kids were having a blast, but our little son, Mizuki, was having a bit of apprehension with the slide. He had climbed up several times then chickened out and made his way back down.
We tried to encourage him that it was a lot of fun, that we would catch him, and so on; but for the longest time, he just couldn’t bring himself to take that final plunge.
Time passed and he gained more confidence. His mom positioned herself in the pool to catch him when he landed. With a look of slight terror on his face, he hurled himself down, twisting and turning until he hit the water and bounced back up with his little flotation ring.
After that, he was hooked.
The first couple times, I had caught him. After that, he had told me he didn’t want anyone catching him and did it alone. I stayed close for moral support and just in case.
The funny thing was that each time he went down, he would call out the name of a hero–invoking their name (if you will) as if to gain their strength. We got through several power rangers (his favorite) then Spiderman and a couple others. What came next honestly took me by surprise.
He positioned himself with no hesitation now. He threw up his arms and with a big grin shouted a “Daddy” that lasted all the way until he hit the water.
“I’m a hero,” I thought to myself. I can’t even express to you the joy I felt in that moment.
As I sit here writing this now, I realize again that we have no reason to allow fear into our hearts as live out the calling and destiny God placed inside us. We have such a great resource to pull from, examples lived throughout history.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. –Hebrews 12:1-2
We have heroes cheering us on. We can remember their sacrifices and triumphs so that we will be bold to step out in our own. Besides all those great examples, we have a Father who loves us and watches out for us every moment and every step of the way.
Every time we honor Him and lift up His name, I know He swells with joy. We are stepping out into a greater realm of faith and effectiveness. We are bringing His Kingdom into our lives in a tangible way and a living reality.
We can lay aside the fear, the unbelief, and every sin that would keep us bound. There’s no need to go back and forth, up and down that ladder. It’s time to take the plunge and Jesus showed the way. The joy wasn’t in the cross, but in the lives it purchased from the grasp of sin and death to be restored in relationship with the Father.
Doing the thing we’re too afraid to do, stepping out in obedience, is not the fun part. Seeing the fruit of walking in faith as we do the impossible–that’s the joy He sets before each one of us.
What plunge are you ready to take today?