Everybody knows that summertime means fun in the sun, but for those of us in the south, summertime also means HOT. Bathing suits and sunscreen quickly make their way onto the scene, and the only way to beat the heat is to find a large body of water.
For my family with littles, this holds true, but since my boys can’t yet swim, summertime also means swim lessons.
The only problem with this is that my 4 year-old typically hasn’t been a big fan of these lessons. Jude has always loved splashing around in the pool, but when it comes to actually learning how float on his back or put his face in the water, my guy has had quite the challenge.
For Jude, the carefree and lighthearted spirit of summer quickly turns much more serious and frightful with even the mention of swim lessons. Instead of anticipating laughter and fun in the pool, fear takes over in his heart, and my boy resists even dipping in a toe.
This is exactly what happened last summer, and as his mother, I found it heartbreaking. I dream of my children living to the fullest, moving forward with freedom as they trust in God, and having a faith that says they can conquer the world.
Jude’s fear of learning to swim was an obstacle to this. I worried it would gain even more power over him and become a stronghold in his life.
If my son was going to have victory, he needed to learn courage.
When Scripture Invades the Heart
Though the Bible is full of stories of courageous people, Joshua was one of my son’s favorites. Jude eagerly learned how Joshua replaced Moses as leader of God’s people, and how it was his job to lead them into the Promised Land.
As Jude and I made our way through some Scripture flash cards I’d bought, we came across Joshua 1:9.
As a way to teach Jude these truths, I began listing all the places we went, knowing that we could be courageous, too, because God is also with us wherever we go.
God is with us at home, I told him.
He’s with us in the backyard and in the car.
He’s with us in the grocery store and at Granna’s house.
Then somehow in the midst of rattling off these places, the Holy Spirit whispered, even underwater. Those words flowed from my lips to Jude’s ears, and I saw his eyes light up.
The truth that God’s presence was with him even underwater was making way into his heart. I told him he could be strong and courageous at swim lessons because God was with him, even there.
Faith in Action
On the way to his next lesson, I prayed for Jude in the car and cheered him on to be strong and courageous. He seemed to be more prepared.
As the swim students approached a certain skill that required them to go underwater, I was nervous for Jude. Sure, we’d talked and prayed, but would he really be brave enough to go for it? With everything in me, I wanted him to rise above this fear to victory, to conquer it by trusting God’s promise.
His turn approached. My nervous lip biting suddenly transformed into a proud grin as I watched Jude plunge himself underwater. Then up he sprang, hair soaked and a look of pride on his face. He did it! By believing God’s promise, my darling boy overcame his fear!
Hope for You
Do you notice areas of fear or defeat in your children’s lives? Why not ask the Lord for a verse to memorize with them and to pray over for them?
Or maybe as you read this, you realize you need to be freed up to walk in victory. God’s Word is living and active. When combined with your faith, He can move mountains in your life. Just ask Jude.
This community would love to hear what your favorite promises are from God’s Word. Feel free to share below in the comments. Have you seen your children overcome by trusting God’s Word? Again, we’d love to be encouraged by you… the comments section is open!
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