I’m a toe tester. When I run a hot bath, I gently stick in my toe to check on the water temp. I do the same at the beach, letting the waves run over just my feet before I go racing in. Those aren’t necessarily bad ideas. But, unfortunately, I do the same thing in my spiritual life. I may feel a prompting in a new direction, or even an outright call. And instead of jumping in, I stick out my toe. I want to know what it’s going to look like – what is the cost and what will be the results.
We have several examples from scripture that push against this. I think immediately of Peter. He’s in a boat in the lake and Jesus told him to get out and come to Him. I can see myself tapping the water with my toe to see if it is going to hold me. I wonder if Peter did anything like that. We do know that he got out of the boat and walked on the water. He was willing to get his feet wet – indeed, he was willing to get ALL wet since he was in, literally, over his head. But Jesus called and Peter answered, no matter the risk.
What about those Israelites on the edge of the Jordan waiting to enter the Promised Land? They had to cross the river, but it was a little more complicated than that. The area where they crossed was a steep slope so that it was impossible to “test the water”. It was all or nothing. The first step was going to be a doozy that dropped into deep water. And it is likely that none of them could swim. But they took that step, made that commitment – and as they slid all the way down, God miraculously stopped the water and they all actually crossed on dry land. What if no one had been willing to risk that first step? They’d all still be sitting on the east side of the Jordan – there would be no Israel, and the Promised Land wouldn’t have been claimed.
Realize, from outward appearances, both those first steps looked crazy. Why would you get out of a perfectly good boat? Why would you drop into a dangerous river when you can’t swim? But God had called them to get their feet wet and they faithfully obeyed. They believed God.
There are times when it is appropriate to gather all the information we can, get good counsel, count the cost, consider all the options. But there are also times when we hear God’s call and need to just get our feet wet. Times when we can’t get all the information or have it figured all out. Times when we have to step out in faith.
I think God enjoys and uses those times most since we’re forced to give Him all the credit. We have no idea how He is going to get us to the other side. Is He going to have us walk on water? Will He stop a river? If we know His voice, we can follow when we don’t know how it is we are going to get there. Sometimes it means just taking that first step.
My toe testing “figure it all out” muscle is strong. I don’t know where God will call me this year, but I want to live with wet feet and develop the muscle of hearing Jesus and going all in.
Where have you been a toe tester? Have you ever just trusted God with the possibility of wet feet? What happened?