Climbing Higher in Faith
“Cast all your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”
Psalm 55:22 (NIV)
I love to write. However, when I try to find the words to explain what life with Jesus is truly like, I feel like all my attempts fall short. In some ways, since the day I fully surrendered to him, I would say it’s the wildest ride I’ve ever been on! By letting go and letting Jesus lead I’ve gone places and done things I would never have even dreamed or imagined.
In other ways, it’s been the scariest journey I’ve ever taken, as Jesus has led me to places that I wouldn’t have chosen to go - for his glory. In all of it, never once has he abandoned me or let me fall. Thinking about it in this light, the best narrative to describe our life together finally came to mind.
Closing my eyes, this is what I see when I think about my life with Jesus…
Jesus and I are mountain climbing together. We start at the base of a mountain surrounded by an ocean with waves and breakers crashing against the rocks on the shore. There is nowhere to go but up.
Jesus has offered to climb with me, so I’ve accepted his invitation. Around my waist is a harness with a red rope that connects me to his harness, and off we go. At first, it’s not so bad, even a bit exhilarating. I mean come on, Jesus has invited me on a wild climbing adventure with him. How amazing is that!
He goes before me, showing me where to put my hands and feet, but as we gain altitude I’ll admit I get a little scared. You see, the higher we go together the harder it gets and I’m confused. Shouldn’t I be getting better at climbing? Instead, I feel like my feet keep slipping and I’m continuously scrapping and cutting myself on the jagged rocks. Every time I slip Jesus calls back to me, “It’s ok, I’ve got you,” as he wiggles the rope to remind me, but it’s so hard.
Eventually, we reach the summit and it is glorious! After so much rough climbing together, to sit back and see how far I’ve come with my Savior is utterly indescribable. For a while, we rest and there is peace.
In my humanness, I want to stay in this place of rest with my Savior forever. Turns out, that’s not the plan as I see Jesus moving about putting his harness back on and grabbing our gear. The thought enters my mind, “Hey there Jesus, watcha doin?” With a quick glance, he smiles at me. Of course, he knows what I’m thinking. He knows everything.
It’s in this moment his hand reaches out for mine. Pulling me to my feet, he points to the mountain adjacent to us and smiles a mile wide. It’s much higher and steeper than the one we are currently on and there is a massive chasm separating the two. “That’s where we’re going next,” he whispers and before I can answer, in the blink of an eye, he has already jumped across.
My head is spinning as I stand there alone on the mountain we’ve just climbed, looking across at Jesus on the next one. There we stand facing each other with the long red rope tied to each of us, hanging across the great chasm in between. No words are spoken for a long, long time as the two of us stare at one another.
Finally, Jesus breaks the silence and in the gentlest of tones says, “Steph, I want you to jump.”
Tears fill my eyes in the vision and even now as I’m typing. “I can’t,” is all I can utter as fear grips me. “Steph jump. I won’t let you fall,” echoes across the chasm from his lips. My response is the same, “I can’t. I want to, but it’s too far.”
Again, for a long time, we just stand there staring at one another. Finally, he breaks the silence. “Steph, I love you and I won’t make you jump. You can stay there and I’ll come back over to you because I’ve promised that I’ll never leave you. But there is so much more to see and do over here if you are willing to let me stretch your faith. I promise I won’t let you fall.”
Standing there looking across the chasm at the one who has saved me, my heart is moved as his words sink deep into my soul. At that moment I know I can’t stay put on the mountain we’ve just climbed. I have to jump!
So I back up as far as I can to get a good running start and with all my might I take off running as hard and fast as I can toward Jesus, eyes locked on his. It is at that moment, as my feet leave the edge, arms flailing about, I realize what I could not have experienced when I was too scared to move…
Jesus is moving the mountain towards me!
The landing is still rough and there are definitely some bumps and bruises as I hit the ground, but he didn’t let me fall. He didn’t let me fall!
Over and over on my journey with Jesus, this is the picture. We get to the top of one mountain, and again after resting, he will ask me to jump to another. I keep thinking that at some point the fear will leave and it won’t be so hard to say yes to his invitation, but that hasn’t happened yet.
Still, even in my fear, he calls me to climb higher with him.
I think the problem is my brain is prone to forget the goodness of my Savior. I wish that wasn’t the case, but it is, so I need reminding.
One way God does this for me is through song. One of my favorite reminders these days is a song called “Do It Again” by Elevation Worship. It’s all about remembering the mountains God has already moved for us so we can have hope in knowing he will “do it again.” Below is a link to the video, and I hope it encourages you as much as it has me.
“Do It Again” by Elevation Worship https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B_lnQIITxU
For Your Reflection…
Where is Jesus asking you to “jump” in life right now? Are you willing to if he asks you? Why or why not?