Pretend you’re one of those people. The most water you’ve ever been in was in a bathtub. Now you decide you want to learn to swim, but the only pool available is ten feet deep everywhere; there is no shallow end. I think you’d be a little reluctant to just dive in – I know I would be.
I could tell you that the water would support you, that you would float. I could show you in an encyclopedia that the density of the human body is ever so slightly less than that of water. I could explain all sorts of theories, so that you would become intellectually convinced that your body would float.
Now… are you going to jump in? Probably not. You believe me when I tell you that you can float, but you’re not ready to act on it yet.
You can tell me that you have absolute faith in what I have told you. You can quote back to me all the scientific details. You can study books on swimming, and quote them back to me word for word, chapter and verse. You can tell me how much you think you would love swimming. But until you get wet, it doesn’t mean a thing.
In much the same way, we can study about love and about reaching out, but until we experience it first-hand, we will never know if what we know intellectually is true in reality. Also, by just studying the word, and not acting on it, we miss out on the overwhelming blessings that we would have received by putting our faith into action.
How do I know this, you ask? I know because this story is my story. For so many years, I sat on the side of the pool and just stared at the water. I took a lot of Bible studies and thought about sharing my faith. I actually thought about it a lot! I knew I had to jump in feet first, but because of fear and a lack of confidence, I am ashamed to say that it took me a really long time. Thankfully, two years ago, through Connecting Streams, I finally jumped in. I found that the Lord provided everything that I needed. He upheld me, He prepared me, He gave me the words to say, and He put an overwhelming love in my heart for the women I was visiting. He has blessed me, He has increased my faith, He has encouraged me along the way, and He has filled me with an inexpressible joy. I feel as though I have received so much more than I have given.
So what have I learned? I have learned that I had nothing to fear because as I reached out, not only did I have God with me, but I also had a team of people with me. They took me under their wing and I learned by watching and observing them. I was not alone. I have learned that the blessings that come with putting my faith into action far outweigh any sacrifice.
For anyone who is new to stepping out in faith, remember that our responsibility, more than anything else, is to love. People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. God is responsible for the results. This is His deal, and I consider it a privilege and an honor to be able to partner with Him.