“There is never an act of faith without risk.”
Two years ago, in celebration of our 35th wedding anniversary, my husband and I visited Costa Rica. One of the highlights of our trip was the Manuel Antonio canopy zip line tour. Did I mention I have a slight fear of heights? Initially my fear was so great I couldn’t look down and kept my eyes focused on the platform ahead. Gradually I became more comfortable, able to look down and around at the beautiful surroundings of the tropical rain forest. Actually, I experienced such a rush and exhilarating joy from taking that risk. That is, until I got stuck. Then fear gripped me and I began to dread each line left. Did I mention I got stuck 3 times, each time farther away from the safety of the platform?
Back home in the safety of my couch, while having my time with the Lord, He brought up my fear and asked if I was still stuck up on the zip line. I told Him no, that He had found three different ways to rescue me and get me unstuck. His response to me was a foundational reminder for when I get stuck in life: There are always other options!
He taught me other truths too such as the correlation between risk and the rush of joy. He said, “In facing your fears head on and pushing through them, you not only find freedom, but you also discover true joy.” We also discover our true selves.
God disclosed to me that in order to become unstuck, I had to believe what my instructors were telling me to do was true. I had to trust them. And lastly, I had to obey them. All of life will give me opportunities to risk, for the sheer enjoyment of life and many times I will becomes stuck. I’ll hit a wall of impasse and fear will consume me. It’s at those times I need to believe what my heavenly Instructor tells me is true. I need to trust Him, realizing Father knows best and He has greater insight into the situation. Lastly I need to obey what He’s telling me to do and if I do, He guarantees I’ll get moving again and will return safely home, to the security of the platform, Himself.
In I Chronicles 11:15-19, Ezra tells the story of David’s three mighty men, who risked their lives, broke through the Philistine lines, to draw water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem. Why would they take such a great risk for a cup of water? Love. Their love and devotion to their King-to-be David was so intense that when David longed for that water, they were compelled to go. How intense is your love and devotion to the King of Kings? Are you willing to take a risk and obey Him, no matter what He longs for you to do?
Our heavenly Father knows we are afraid, He knows we are scared, and He knows we’d rather stay in the safety and comfort of our home. Because He knows us so well, He encourages us to be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:9), to not lose courage (II Chronicles 15:7), and to take courage because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).
Are you ready to go on the zip line God has specifically tailored just for you? Are you ready to believe, trust and obey God when you stop and get stuck on the line, knowing The Rescuer will pull you back home? It’s time for you to experience the exhilarating rush of joy and intimacy that will only come as you take your God-given risks in life!
“If only I could persuade timid souls I meet to listen to that inner voice of the Spirit, which challenges us to attempt great things for God and expect great things from God. Oh, if only I could inspire them to heed that inner urging that tells them, ‘Go for it!'”
1. In what areas of your life are you feeling stuck?
2. How can you believe, trust and obey your Heavenly Instructor to rescue you?
3. What God-given risks would bring greater intimacy with God as you courageously face them?