WAVE POOLS ARE INHERENTLY DANGEROUS. ALWAYS USE EXTREME CAUTION.
The sign is above me. Lonny and I have taken the youngest three boys away for the weekend. We’re at an indoor water park. My back (I have a long history of back trouble) locked up tight after volleyball last Friday.
So Lonny is in the wave pool, with the three boys, alone. And I'm sitting.
Samuel’s on a raft. He’s a strong swimmer, but he’s rising and falling and is drifting into a knotted people-mass. Gabe and Zay have Lonny’s hands. They’re above the water and under the water and the surface is nearly covered with thick clots of inflatable rings.
And my heart is fearful. If a boy goes under, who in that pool would know?
I’ve struggled with this sort of fear for a year now. I’ve struggled since my oldest son spent twenty-one hours, trapped underground, in a dark, cold cave.
I know that perfect love casts out fear, and I think of the Lord’s perfect love.
But still I strain to see my guys, my toes are curled, and this fear I’ve been fighting is close.
It’s a pool, for cryin’ out loud, I tell myself. The boys spend all summer long in the pool in our yard.
My eyes shift from Lonny and the little guys to the space where Samuel had been. But I can’t see him. Everyone is wet. Nearly every boy looks the same. Lonny let him float too far and no one was watching him, really, at all.
I’m about to push myself from the chair. I’m about to trek, half-hunched, to the side of the pool, like a mad woman out of control.
Danger. That’s what the sign says. But what does His Word say?
He tells me not to fear. He promises to be with us. He tells me to be courageous and He’ll never, ever leave.
I stay in my seat.The waves calm. The water stills. I scan the surface until I see my Sam.
He’s paddling toward his dad. Smiling bright as the sun.
I know my battle with fear over my sons isn’t over.
But today’s small victory?
It sure feels sweet.
"Have I not commanded you? Be bold and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you where ever you go." Joshua 1:9