As a kid, I was deathly afraid of water. When my parents sent me for swimming lessons, I fought and hung on to the doorposts in fear. Unfortunately, I was forced to go and none of it ended well.
In my teenage years, I got accustomed at my own speed. As an adult I’ve loved being in and around water. Amazingly enough this “chicken of the sea” has appreciated boating with my husband for 30+ years. When I heard an illustration about a pool of water it resonated with me.
We’ve been attending meetings to learn and be encouraged to share with others about growing in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The teacher, Pastor Dan, brought up the following example, which I’ve gained his permission to share. Some of these metaphors were birthed in a prayer group he recently attended. I was so inspired that I took liberty to bring the storyline farther along.
He told us to imagine the whole stage area as an outdoor heated pool on a warm day. The deep end has a high dive with the required 12-foot-deep water, and also a springboard for diving. On the other side is the shallow end. There are sloping stairs in the corner which provide entry into the water. People can sit in lawn chairs on the deck.
Use your imagination to relate this to how people can learn, grow and live in the power of the Holy Spirit. The floor and walls of the pool represent the foundation of the Word of God, the Bible. The water is the Holy Spirit of God.
On the shallow end, some sit on the side dangling their feet in the water. Maybe one is sitting on the top step and only allowing their toes to get wet. Some step down the stairs one at a time carefully getting used to the water. Some are walking around in the familiar part of the pool. A person could enter the shallow end and ease themselves into the deeper water. When he’s ready he can let himself float a bit or tread water.
In the deep end people can lie back in the warm water, relaxing in the warmth of the Holy Spirit’s presence. When they’re comfortable, they might not be afraid to attempt new swimming strokes and don’t mind if their feet never touch the bottom. They enjoy the peace of the Holy Spirit surrounding them. Someone could do jumps and flips off the springboard delighting himself in the Lord.
Some are uncomfortable with change and stay in one place at all times, or even get out of the pool. You could be the person who wraps a towel around their shoulders and listens.
Spectators are sitting in the lawn chairs watching. Some are not willing or able to get into the water. Others frown, cross their arms or fall asleep. Many others will decide to go into the water for refreshment.
People are at various stages cooperating with the Holy Spirit and understanding how he works in our lives today. No person is better than another. We who are enjoying the deep end should never go grab someone from other positions and push them into the pool. God will work in them in His perfect timing.
We should be respectful and let others go at their own pace. No one would ever want to be pushed off the end of the high dive. A person who’s thrown in might get injured or maybe they can’t swim. All the positions are okay. Let others get used to the water and don’t push.
The more we become like the Lord in our character, the more people are attracted to the warmth in the pool of the Holy Spirit.
The heater’s on. The sun is out. The sign on the pool gate says, “Welcome.”