I've been snorkeling, but I have never been scuba diving. For the purposes of this post, first hand experience won't be necessary though. I've been thinking this weekend about how living a life of faith and dependence on God is a lot like scuba diving.
Here's the deal, when you snorkel you float around on the surface of the water (occasionally diving underwater when there's something interesting to see), but always coming back up to the surface to get some air. The snorkel works quite well for supplying the air, but if I want to, I can lift my face out of the water and take the snorkel out of my mouth and just swim around - breathing with no snorkel at all.
Scuba diving, on the other hand, requires me to have a tank of oxygen at my disposal. In addition, the mouth thingy (I'm sure that's the technical term for it) has to be in my mouth, so I can breathe...and live. I can't just pop up to the surface every minute or so. I go under and I stay under, my whole life dependent on that tank of oxygen. Sure, I could take out the mouth thingy for a minute or so, but if I didn't put it back in then, I'd be a goner for sure!
When we embarked on this journey of adopting we wanted to experience what it would be like to do something that was beyond our capabilities, and would then put us in the territory of really living by faith. So, we jumped in head first and have been underwater pretty much ever since :-) BUT, thankfully, we have an endless oxygen tank called "dependence on God and His goodness." Without it, we would certainly drown.
Prior to adding Marcus and Zoe to our family we were faith-snorkeling. (Tee hee, I like the sound of that) What I mean is we would go underwater and live by faith when we felt like it, but we got to control when we did that, and when we felt like we had things under control we went on our merry way by ourselves - faces above the water.
Adding two more kids, kids who would require much from us, caused us to shift from snorkeling to scuba diving. I no longer had the option of just raising my head to get a breath of fresh air, I needed to breath the air from the tank of "trust in God" or I would die. Sure I could hold my breath for a time and pretend that I didn't need that faith tank, that I could do this parenting thing on my own, but it wouldn't take long for me to either pass out, or keel over.
I am very thankful that my tank never, ever runs dry! That I can count on God working in and through my life, and carrying me through the hard stuff, as sure as the air I breathe. Now if I could just learn not to take out my mouth thingy!!