Just Jump: Diving Headfirst into the Waters of the Word

January 27, 2017  - By Gretchen Saffles

“Jump!!” they called out beneath me, cheering me on. My toes dangled over the edge, but my body leaned backwards and my hands gripped the rock, clinging for dear life. What on earth am I doing? I questioned myself and began to doubt my ability to make a good judgment call. My newlywed husband was beneath me with a group of strangers I would never see again, waiting for me to take the leap and jump off the steep cliff into the foamy ocean water beneath me. My breathing grew heavier and my thought process slower. 

 Actual photo of me jumping off the cliff in 2012!

Actual photo of me jumping off the cliff in 2012!

Just jump, Gretchen. It just takes one step to jump, I talked to myself as the seconds seemed to turn into hours. I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t decide to soar through the air into the crystal blue waters. I knew I’d look back and always wonder what it would have been like to take a risk and be adventurous. I looked down at Greg, then back at the water, and, with my stomach in a million knots and heart pounding out of my chest, I jumped into the chilling water. 

We were honeymooning in Hawaii when I took that leap. It will forever be marked in my mind as one of the most exciting things I have ever done. That day, I felt alive and on the brink of something new, not just because I jumped into the icy cold ocean water, but because I did something I was afraid to do. All it took was one step for me to plunge into a new adventure, a new rhythm of life and a new memory that will forever be imprinted on my heart and mind.

Take the Plunge into the Depth of the Word

When I think of studying the Bible, that cliff comes to mind. The pages are filled with life-changing, radical truth, but we often spend our days with our toes hanging over the edge, afraid to jump in head first. Fear keeps us from experiencing the greatest adventure this life will ever offer, knowing Jesus Christ and the grace with which He came to save us. 

In our social media saturated culture, it is easiest to spend our time watching others grow and mature in faith and love for the Word rather than opening our Bibles in the secret and dining at the table with our Savior. With the amount of literature and Bible studies that are at our fingertips, we have been trained to rely on authors, pastors, and teachers to deliver us the Word, when we have the Bible sitting on our shelves, ready to be opened, ready to be experienced.

Psalm 119:18 is a verse I go to often to pray when I feel like my toes are just dipped into the waters of the Word and I want to be fully immersed in gospel truth. It says,

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.”

Once our eyes are opened to see the marvelous treasures that are laid out before us, there is no turning back. Taking the leap into the waters of the Word won’t be something to fear or debate, it will be our greatest joy and delight. I’ve read countless books, done dozens of Bible studies, and even own many devotionals, but I can assure you, nothing will ever compare to the living and active word of God. The words of the internet, magazines, and social media will one day pass away, but Scripture never will (Matthew 24:35). 

That day on our honeymoon, I watched several people jump before me, and I wanted to step past my fears along with them. In the same way, I want to challenge you to open up your own Bible and take the leap into deep, gospel-driven study of the Word that never fails. Jump head first into the deep waters of the Word, navigating it with the gospel of grace as your guide. You won’t regret opening your Bible and immersing yourself in words that never fail, because following Jesus is the greatest adventure you could take in this life. 

jumping with you, 


 Photo taken after jumping off the cliff

Photo taken after jumping off the cliff

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  1. Loved this encouragement! Indeed the best adventure is found in diving deep into the waters of His love! Thank you for your continual inspiration to seek Him first!

  2. carolyn.laich@gmail.com says:

    Love this, Gretchen! This is exactly what I’ve been struggling with. I had the same experience on my honeymoon in Hawaii but at Kipu Falls in Kauai. I have been thinking "What is holding me back?!" And I think exactly of that jump! I ordered a devotional set today and while I know my bible is upstairs, this makes the jump a little less scary… I like to think of the pretty, illustrated and simple devotional as those people in the water cheering me on. I’m a visual girl and the Bible intimidates and confuses me sometimes. I "jumped" last week and stumbled across words that felt a bit extreme and unrelatable. Here’s to trying again! Xo

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