“Don’t look down, Mom!”
Immediately, I wish my son hadn’t said that. I can’t help myself. My eyes drift to the expanse below and my feet wobble. What was I thinking when I agreed to do this?
I try to regain my composure and remember my harness. The 4-story high ropes course stretches out before me, and I know there was only one way out: through it.
If you fall, the harness will catch you.
I tell myself this repeatedly as I inch across a rickety bridge that seems a mile long. My son moves to the other side with ease, turning around at the end to cheer me forward.
“You’ve got this! Keep going!”
When I get close enough to the next platform, I take a giant step to the safety of a solid surface. I stop and breath deeply, thankful for a minute to relax my legs. As I survey the rest of the course, I take a mental note of how much further we have to go before we can make the trek back down to the bottom. My mouth is dry and I can hear my stomach starting to rumble.
When my husband suggested I embark on this adventure with my boys, my first instinct was to say no. First, I am not a fan of heights. And second, our one-year-old daughter was the perfect excuse for me to stay on the ground.
But then I felt a little nudge.
My parents were with us, and they were more than happy to watch their granddaughter. So I went. With harness tightened securely around me, I made my way to the top. And with my nine-year-old as my cheerleader, I kept going even when my balance was awkward and my footing unsure.
Even though I was afraid, I moved forward.
Even though my stamina was tested, my resolved to finish was greater. And you know what? I will never forget those minutes spent amongst the trees with my family.
When my feet were firmly planted back on the ground, I realized God was teaching me a valuable lesson. Without my even realizing it, he painting a picture.
You see, lately God’s been asking me to be brave. He’s asking me to step out of my comfort zone and do things I wouldn’t normally do. Speak more. Lead more. Trust him more. And my first instinct, like it was with my husband, is to say no.
God, I’m not qualified.
God, you have the wrong person.
God, I have no experience in this area.
But he keeps gently nudging me forward, waiting for me to take the leap. Desiring obedience, even when I stubbornly keep my feet planted in one place.
After making a lot of excuses, I said yes to one step. And then another. With each one, he shows me his presence never leaves. Even when my feet falter, he’s there.
Having a forward-moving faith doesn’t mean we’ll never fall. It means we trust a God who never fails.
So when we slip, he’s the harness that catches us and keeps us from hitting the ground. When our balance sways, he’s the secure grip that steadies us and enables us keep going.
“It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
He causes me to stand on the heights.”
Friends, we serve a God who wants us to live life to the fullest.
He wants our faith to move us to new heights so he can show us the depth and width of his love. A love that surpasses all understanding. A love that will change others’ hearts, minds, and lives. But we have to be willing. We have to get off the ground.
When we do, the view is spectacular. When we do, our image of God expands with each shaky step.