The idea of going to their first swim class was so exciting to my daughters. But when they realized that this would involve them getting their faces wet, their feelings quickly changed! I sat on the other side of the pool behind a glass wall and watched my girls go from smiles and cheers to tears and fears. By the time the class was over, they both were begging me to never make them come back.
When I shared these details with my husband, I sensed that he was troubled at the idea of paying for these lessons week after week if all they were going to do was cry the entire time. In response to this assumption, I interjected the fact that yes, they cried the entire time, but they still did every single exercise their coach asked of them.
As I said that, I realized something profound: they still did every single exercise their coach asked of them. Tears and all! They didn’t come running to me, clinging to my leg, begging to leave at once. They stayed right there, in the pool, listening and obeying—with tears streaming down their faces and their little hearts racing.
Once my 3-year-old Olivia realized that her parents weren’t going to allow her to quit, she was so determined to obey and survive this ordeal, she asked if she could please take her Bible to the pool with her!
Perhaps she wanted to read Judges chapters 6-8 for encouragement. Here we learn about Gideon who was chosen by the Lord to do some things that were just as scary to him as learning to swim was to my daughters. The Lord asked him to lead an army of men to defeat the Midianites. And, as if that wasn’t scary enough, he first had to destroy the idols the Israelites had been worshipping. Judges 6:27 says Gideon “. . . was afraid . . . [so] he did it at night rather than in the daytime.”
Don’t miss that: “he did it . . .”
He may have demolished Baal’s altar and cut down the Asherah pole at night rather than in the daytime, but the important thing is: he did it. God did not specify a time of day. He specified that the idols be destroyed and the Midianites be captured.
Just as going at night was fine for Gideon to do, crying is fine for us to do. Literally or figuratively. Yes, fear may be present. Doubts may well up in our minds. All the “what if’s,” the “I cant’s,” and the “OMG’s. . .”—those are not deal breakers for God. Disobedience is. Do it at night if you need to. Do it with tears flowing if you need to. Cry the entire time if that’s what it takes. Just be sure to do it. The end result will be something great.
Don’t believe me?
Ask Gabrielle, Olivia, and Gideon. They did it!