June 10, 2013
But Then I Let Go
"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles." Isaiah 40:31a (NIV)
I used to have a fear of heights. I think it has something to do with the fact that my dad held my little brother over the Grand Canyon when he was three, and I was 10. I completely panicked, thinking my brother would tumble over the side and be gone forever.
Regardless of how it arrived, the fear was real.
My son bought a zip lining package for two on sale so I could put a checkmark on my bucket list next to "get over fear of heights." When we arrived, I noticed several towers, zigzagging zip lines and people harnessed in a series of straps and buckles. My heart immediately went into overdrive when we were asked to climb a moderately high tower.
The higher I climbed, the more my brain informed me that I was afraid. Yet I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. Up, up, up!
My son flew from one tower to the next with ease. Then I stepped up. The platform was tiny. One inch in front of me there was nothing between me and the ground, hundreds of feet below.
I put my gloved hands on the zip line. Everything in me was screaming to turn around and go back to solid ground. But then I let go ...
.... and it was exhilarating.
I soared through the air and slid in semi-smoothly to the tower where my son fist-pumped in the air with a "Way to go, Mom!"
I wish my fear of heights was the only challenge I've ever faced, but sometimes God asks me to do something that seems just as impossible. That happens when He leads me into the harder parts of my faith.
That looks different for all of us, but for me it was to forgive those who had hurt me in my past. God was nudging me to soar, but in order to do that I had to let go and trust that He knew what was ahead.
Perhaps His request goes against how we feel, or it just doesn't feel possible in the natural. But when we choose zip line faith, we learn to release or overcome things that might otherwise keep us trapped.
Is zip line faith (going down the harder paths of obedience) easy? No, it might challenge you. It might take you way outside your comfort zone. It might even cause you to fall down a few times as you practice. But you do grow through it, sometimes in surprising ways.
A few weeks after my zip lining experience I was in a high-rise hotel. I stepped out on to the balcony because I heard music below. Peering over the edge, I watched a wedding in process.
And then it hit me. I wasn't afraid!
Before I zip lined, I couldn't have stood near the edge of the balcony, and I definitely wouldn't have peered over to the scene beneath. Stepping off that ledge and soaring to the next tower helped me to overcome a fear I thought was too big to conquer.
Maybe I'm not ready to bungee jump ... yet. But my zip line experience showed me that my fears, though valid, didn't have the power to hold me back forever.
Whatever God is speaking into your heart today, are you willing to climb up, up, up as you follow Him into the harder (and freeing!) parts of zip line faith?
Dear Jesus, my heart longs to soar. Thank You in advance for walking with me through the tougher parts of my faith, and for dancing in celebration with me as I climb over that mountain to soar to the other side! In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Do You Know the One who can set you free from fear?
Visit Suzie Eller's blog for pics of her zip lining adventure, and a giveaway of her book, The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness that shares step-by-step how God helps us to soar free through forgiving.
NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible with devos from the Proverbs 31 Ministries team, including Suzie Eller.
Reflect and Respond:
Write down the one thing you feel God is asking you to do.
1. Does it line up with Scripture?
2. What is your greatest fear about this assignment?
3. What might you gain if you take a step of faith?
Ephesians 3:16, "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being." (NIV)
© 2013 by Suzie Eller. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
630 Team Rd., Suite 100
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Monday, 10 June 2013.