Treading is defined as to press beneath feet, to step or walk on, to walk on over. Peter asked Jesus if he could walk on water and Jesus told him to “come!” We are a band of sisters also asking to do the impossible and walk on water but like Peter we too end up doing some treading water while we cry out to the ONE who rescues.
Today, as I was thinking about treading water because I had forgotten how much I LOVE to swim, the correlation between faith and doubt to swimming and treading water, this mental picture came to me. I am a lifeguard and a swimming instructor. I have taught thousands of children and hundreds of lifeguards through the years. I have also taught adults who came with a lifetime of fear of the water. As we talk about fear, it occurs to me that faith or doubt is based on the person into whose hands one is placing their life. When I reflect on all these precious people who trusted me to teach them, I see them bravely moving from pool to ocean. I see two lifeguards on the beach keeping watch over them: Me, all five feet of me, in my regular beach garb and the official lifeguard in their red uniform suits, holding a torpedo buoy, standing with binoculars high above the beach, all buff and fit. If I asked anyone I have taught which one of the two lifeguards on the beach they would want to come get them should they get into trouble, I would be willing to bet they would choose the one they KNEW! Why? Because they have a relationship with the one they know. They believe the one they know will rescue them or die trying. Trust has been built through difficult experiences with the one they know. They would not doubt the ability of the one they know to rescue them from drowning even though they have never seen either lifeguard rescue a soul!
This is how it is with God. We don’t trust, i.e., we fear (doubt) because we DO NOT know Him. Our life experiences may have convinced us that He cannot be trusted because we mistakenly think “if He loved me He wouldn’t let this happen,” when the reality is very bad things happen to everyone at some point in time because we live in this very broken world. It has been said, “expectations destroy relationships,” and NOTHING could be truer. The expectation that becoming a believer in Christ means an easy life has been the detour of many a Christian’s walk of faith.
As I study Scripture’s fear nots and the fear the LORD your Gods, it becomes increasingly clear that those who do not know the LORD, doubt Him. Those who entrusted their lives to Him, revere (fear) Him and trust Him and because of this knowledge they have faith when He says, “Fear not,” that they need not fear. Faith is a verb not a cerebral exercise. It is not a matter of quantity of faith because Jesus said all you need is mustard seed size faith in HIM and HE will move the mountains Faith is a PERSON!
A puzzle piece just fell into place. Tomorrow we will begin to look one verse at a time into the fear nots of Scripture. In the meantime, I think I just stepped out on the water. I hope I just threw you a torpedo buoy. No treading water today. Think I will go for a swim!
Reprint from July 7, 2015