Recently I was in a beautiful place surrounded by the sights and sounds of God’s creation. My children and husband were with me, and we drove up to a beautiful beach that had an area lined by ocean rocks as if to create a safe, swimming hole for would be snorkelers. I did not feel like getting in the water this particular morning, but my kids wanted to try snorkeling. It was their first time, and they were curious to see what they would find living just below the surface of the emerald blue water.
I found a shady spot on a hill with a peaceful picnic table that looked down over the majestic beach. I could not bring myself to leave the refuge of the picnic table, so I assured my children I would watch them from above and they could go ahead and snorkel. I watched as one child put on her equipment and swam off strong and smooth like a fish in its natural habitat. Then I sat and watched as my son, who has dyspraxia, struggled to get the mask, snorkel, and fins on. It felt like an eternity of him trying over and over again and not succeeding.
Eventually, he began putting his head in the water and trying to coordinate all the necessary steps to swim and breathe. He would lower his head into the water a minute and then come up for air, never mastering the required motor coordination skills needed to put it all together, the skills that just come naturally to most of us. My heart was bleeding as I watched. Tears filled my eyes telling the story of my hurt for him as they trickled down my face. I was rooting and praying for him but painfully witnessed him fail over and over again. I wanted to rescue him. Running to him and helping felt like the loving and natural thing to do, but I knew delivering him from his struggle was the worst thing I could do because he would quit trying and rely on me. Fixing the situation for my son would stunt his learning and crucial growth skills he needs to function in life. As much as I wanted to intervene, as heart-wrenching as it was to watch, I had to sit and silently pray for him and watch over him from above the water.
It occurred to me at that moment that this was such a picture of our walks with our Father. He looks down on us from above and often sees us struggling, sometimes drowning. In our estimation, it feels as if he is ambivalent to our struggles and suffering.
God seems silent, but His silence does not equate to stagnation.
Just as I was watching over my child, He is looking down and watching us, His children. Our Heavenly Father is supporting us and working outcomes that are for our ultimate good. Many times, though, He does not provide an immediate and noticeable rescue or His relief looks like more struggle and pain to us. We don’t have the whole picture. We feel like we are drowning, but God is there. His heart must hurt as a Father like mine did as a mother watching his children struggle, but He knows just what we need.
Sometimes no rescue is the best rescue.
As we drove away from that beautiful place this thought occurred to me, my child didn’t fail. Sure, he did if it I measured it by what I saw, but in God’s economy, the only failure is the one you didn’t trust Him in. Be encouraged, friends! God is looking down on you. He sees you, and He has you. When it feels like He is letting you drown, remember this, “All that is given is necessary. All that is withheld was not.” ~Timothy Keller
You are loved.❤️