Stroke, stroke, stroke, breathe. Stroke, stroke, stroke, breathe. Learning to swim, I’ve been doing this a lot these days. I’m better every day though I still have much to learn. But I never expected that learning to swim would teach me to trust God. As I have learned to trust my instructors and my newfound skills and even the water, God has invited me to trust Him in deeper, more meaningful ways. Just like learning to swim, planting a new church has its fearful, no maybe terrifying, moments. As the swimmer must learn to trust that she does actually float, the planter must learn to trust that everything that will happen to grow the church is not even in her view, much less her ability, as so much of it comes instead from God. Just as the swimmer learns the strokes, the planter must learn new ways of being in her community and like the swimmer, can’t allow comfort with her skills to lead to thoughtless exercise of them. I never would have imagined beforehand that swimming is an exercise in trusting the creation or that in trusting the creation, trust in God would increase. Letting go of fear as we rest in God’s love, though, is an amazing and powerful antidote to lack of trust. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18) I’m not sure fear of water has anything to do with punishment but it certainly means an incomplete experience of God’s perfect love, meaning lack of trust revealed in fear. And no matter how we would like to say otherwise, we all suffer from lack of trust in God from time to time. Yes, even pastors. We’re all human and human frailty is our lot. But, God tells us that doesn’t have to be case. We can find God’s grace and love in the most unlikely of places, even in a YMCA swimming pool learning to stroke and breathe and trust.