After an encounter with a 6.5 year old at the pool over the past weekend, the Lord taught me so many lessons. You might have seen my picture on instagram or facebook, but the Lord continued to speak to me about the situation and it was really something I wanted to share in hopes of encouraging at least one other person.
If you didn’t see, Colby and I went to the pool on Saturday afternoon. I was looking forward to reading my magazine and some peace and quiet. However, there was a girl swimming by herself and she kept swimming right around me. She was by no means shy and asked several times,
“Will you watch me”?
“Yes”, I answered.
Initially, I was feeling frustrated that she was not only splashing me, but getting all my stuff wet too. Then she asked,
“Will you play with me?”
Would I play with this girl who was honestly annoying me?
“Yes”, I answered
That must have been Jesus talking. I was in the zone, which honestly, I often am. I’m usually too engulfed in my own thoughts to notice my surroundings.
I put away my things, got out my goggles (which by no coincidence I went back and grabbed to put in my bag right before we were leaving for the pool) and started playing. Her mother was with a group of friends for a party. She was busy eating and drinking and didn’t seem to mind, or acknowledge, that her daughter was playing with a stranger.
“Will you hold my hands?”
“Yes”, I answered.
So we played. We swam. We sat under the fountain. We attempted handstand under the water. We went back and forth between opposite ends of the pool. We held hands and went under water at the same time. Over and over. Erin told me all the names of her siblings (four) and said that her mommy and daddy didn’t live together. She mentioned several times, “If I do (insert action here), then my mom will yell at me”.
What happened when it was time for her to eat? Erin brought her hot dog and sat right next to me on the edge of the pool. She wanted to be as close as possible. Until, her mom yelled at her as she wanted her to be seated.
The Lord not only spoke to me during this pool encounter, but taught me so much as I reflected on the situation throughout the rest of the weekend. I wanted to share some thoughts here:
- Be Interruptible. As I said, I am usually so wrapped up in what I’m doing to notice others around me. I’m someone who is always in a hurry. When running errands, I’m darting in and out to get my stuff done. But, what if I hadn’t said “Yes”? The day would have ended much differently for both of us. How many times have I missed the Lord prompting me to notice my surroundings? This encounter taught me to be more aware of my surroundings and more interruptible. It’s amazing how saying “yes” blessed me.
- People need love and they need Jesus. All Erin wanted was someone to watch her. Someone to listen to her. Someone to play with her. But, Erin isn’t the only one. Deep down every person needs Jesus. There are so many people looking to be ‘filled’. They don’t understand their longing is for a Savior. They look in the wrong places: sex, food, working out, shopping, other people, drugs, porn, alcohol. You name it. If you are looking for love and you think that someone else or something else can fulfill that – it’s not possible. Not your spouse, boyfriend, or anything or anyone else, only Jesus. And, not only do each of us need Jesus, but we need to act like Jesus and love others. We can love others well because He first loved us.
- Ask Boldly. Erin was definitely not shy. She was not scared to me ask me my name or questions about me. At just 6.5 years old she was persistent. What a beautiful picture of how we should come to Jesus – asking boldly and persistently for what we desire. Don’t settle, but dream big and ask big! What we pray reflects what we believe about God.
- Divine Appointments. – God knew I was going to be there and He knew Erin was going to be there. None of that was an accident. Jesus has divine appointments set up for you too. Just like my pool encounter or my airport encounter, He wants to use you to encourage others and vice versa. Ask for a divine appointment from Him.
- God Wants to Talk to You. What if I had said yes, but learned nothing from the situation? Thankfully, I allowed God to minister to me while playing with her and while reflecting on the afternoon. He had so much to teach me and I’m just glad I had my ears open. Don’t miss the times He is trying to talk to you and teach you – whether it be while you are studying His word or while you are swimming with a 6.5 year old.
God wants to be involved in every area of your life. Don’t get so caught up that you miss Him trying to speak to you or teach you! He is waiting to talk and He is waiting to listen! Just as Erin wanted a relationship with me, He wants the same with you and He desires for you to have the same with others too. Be interruptible!