Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1
When was the last time your faith was tested? Really tested! I can answer that question; it was last week when I went zip lining. This summer I am going to Uganda on a mission trip and our leader thought it would be a good idea for the team to bond through the outing of zip lining. I am usually a good sport about things. But, when I saw the tower, when I saw the wire and learned what would be expected of me, I will be honest, my stomach was queezy, but I did it.
The thing about faith is, you have to take that first step, the step of “what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”. I saw that verse played out in a whole new way last week on the zip line course. I put on the harness, listened carefully to all of the instructions, put on my gloves, my helmet and ropes, but when I looked down off the platform, the only thought that came to my mind was that these items will not help at all if I fall to the ground. I will be dead or severely injured, like not walk away type of injured.
But, I chose to have faith in what my instructor was telling me, even though he was 19 years old! I stepped up to the platform, after waiting my turn in line, and I stepped out to the edge of the platform as they put my pulley on the wire and made sure my crab claws were locked and in the right position. I put my left hand over the pulley, my right hand on the strap and then the instructor said those words that made me want to physically throw up, “ Just step out”. I thought to myself, “sure, step out, easy for you to say, you don’t have four children, you are young and care free, you aren't even old enough to realize how STUPID this adventure is.” Honestly, as I am typing this story to you, my stomach is sick all over again.
But, the thing with faith is, in order for it to be activated, we must take action—take the first step. The first step is always the hardest. So, I took it and away I flew, flying over the trees like it was a normal everyday thing. I of course was praying the whole way that God would keep me safe despite my temporary loss of sanity. As I approached the platform, so proud of my zip line accomplishment, and I was thrilled that it was over until I suddenly realized that this one was the first of MANY zip lines and obstacles that I needed to conquer before the day was over.
Actually, that first zip line was the easiest one of the day. I had to push myself all day, and at each obstacle I had to take that first incredibly scary first step. Please keep in mind, I was with a group of college students, half of which were boys, that LOVED shaking the suspended bridges and LOVED talking about how “high” we were and “what would happen if we fell?” So, that combined with my age and lack of adventure, made for a day where my faith was being tested all day long.
As I lay in my bed that night, so very thankful to not be in a tree looking down, not to be harnessed to wires with people behind me looking like, “GO! Old lady”, I realized what I experienced that day is very similar to my walk of faith with God.
In my 48 years of life and 41 of those walking with God as my Savior, I've had many “first steps” of faith with him. It’s not like once you step out in faith you are finished. No, it’s just like the ropes course, there are several times where faith is needed and some are harder to take a step out than others. In some instances, your faith is tested the whole way through the swinging bridge and people are shaking it, trying to throw you off course. But, God is faithful! He will hold you all the way through your course of life!
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