And without faith, it is impossible to please God
“Take me back, mommy. Take me back!”
My son pointed to the pool stairs on which he was sitting before I took him into deeper waters. Despite my secure embrace and the life jacket fastened across his chest, he was frightened to leave the safety of the stairs.
Clearly, he hadn’t anticipated the feeling of fear that leaving the stairs would bring. He had, after all, asked me to “take him swimming”. His faith in me was overruled by a faith in the stairs. They were solid, predictable, and free from the possibility of causing him to go under. With me, he was no longer in control. He needed to trust that I would keep his head above water. He had to believe that I would keep him safe.
As a mom of boys, I aim to teach them to be courageous, wise, and kind. At times, a little tough love is required to do so. I hope to have a positive influence on them and understand that sometimes their trust in me will be questioned. But that day in the pool, I realized how differently I would have felt if he had been secure in my arms. I would have felt proud. Happy. Pleased with his fearless attempt of something new. Something a bit scary.
I imagine God views us in a similar way at times. He asks us to leave the safe, familiar environment we’ve been in for an extended period of time and join him in the unknown of life. He longs for us to jump into his arms, fearlessly trusting He is in control, has our best interests in mind, and that He will keep us safe.
Hebrews 11:6 tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. Although the theme of the chapter is faith, this particular verse refers to Enoch’s exceptional ability of to please God, as noted in verse 5: By faith, Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
Genesis 5 describes Enoch’s relationship with the Lord: After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years... Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. (v. 22, 24)
How amazing would it be to have our transition to heaven be without a physical death? That the life we lived on earth was so completely intertwined with the Lord’s plan that our spirit melted from our flesh effortlessly. Enoch dedicated three centuries of His life to keeping in step with God. The Bible doesn’t give many details of how this happened or how difficult it may have been, but it probably wasn’t a walk in the park. And it won’t be for us. But our dedication to a journey of faith produces pleasure within our Heavenly Father.
God is proud when we choose to commit ourselves to His plan and purpose. As we declare confidence in Him, conviction in who He is calling us to be, and assurance in His presence, the Lord is pleased. It brings Him great joy to have us in His embrace, arms stretched out in reckless abandonment. He revels in our willingness to trust Him.
Despite my son’s initial fear, it wasn’t long before he realized how fun it was to swim in deeper waters. His faith in me grew as I proved myself to be trustworthy.
Is the Lord leading you to leave a comfort zone? To try something new? Let’s find courage in the pleased look on His face as we step out in faith, for nothing makes a parent prouder than to see their child living life in the freedom of confidence.