June 15, 2004
Encouragement for Today
"A Leap of Faith"
Author, Speaker, Assistant Director with Proverbs 31 Ministries
"...I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20-21 (NIV)
Nausea swelled in my gut as I watched her tiny legs climb the 150-foot staircase. Why anyone would want to experience falling through the sky only to be yanked back up into the air by a bungee cord just before splattering all over concrete is beyond me. Everyone enjoys a good thrill ride from time to time, but bungee jumping, in my opinion is taking it a bit too far. Especially when the thrill-seeker is my eight-year-old daughter, Alex.
"Are you sure you want to do this, Honey?" asked the concerned man in the ticket booth. "We do have go-carts and bumper boats that someone your age might find more enjoyable." With chin up, hands planted firmly on her hips, and a stubborn look of determination that I recognized all too well, my petite, blond fireball assured the man that she was brave enough to jump. "Well, if you get scared and change your mind when you get to the top, you can always climb back down," the gentleman urged as he handed her the ticket. "Don't worry, I won't," Alex shot back. And somehow, I knew she wouldn't.
"Have you ever lost anyone?" my husband asked. "Not yet, but we've only been open for three weeks," the man replied with a grin. That was reassuring.
Reaching the top, Alex didn't even hesitate. As her little body leaped from the platform and she plummeted from the night sky with screams of excitement, I thought, "Lord, what's it going to take to thrill her when she's sixteen?" Then it hit me that thrill seeking can definitely be used for God's glory. "Father, may she find this much delight in taking leaps of faith that please you."
Like Alex, Peter had a longing for adventure. When the disciples' boat was being tossed about by threatening winds, they became alarmed. Adding to the anxiety of an already frightening situation, their fear level peaked when they saw a man walking on water toward the boat. The man was Jesus. That's when Peter seized the opportunity for an ultimate thrill. Peter requested that Jesus call him to walk on water. Peter's desire to walk on water in spite of his fear was based not only on his passion for adventure, but his passion to obey God in an adventurous way.
When Jesus told Peter to come, he leapt from the boat without hesitating. Matthew 14:29-31 records, "...Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately, Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. 'You of little faith,' he said, 'why did you doubt?'"
Some might say that Peter failed in his faith because he doubted and sank. However, our ideas of success and failure may not be the same as Jesus'. After all, Jesus favored the mite-giving widow, but not the religious elite. Peter may have failed in the eyes of the public, but he was the only one who experienced walking on water. He was also the only one who felt Jesus lift him up.
Peter took a risk. He took a leap of faith. As a result, he experienced a grand adventure with Jesus. The other disciples missed out on that adventure. They didn't learn the valuable lesson of trusting Jesus that Peter learned that day because they weren't willing to take the leap.
My prayer for today:
Lord, give me strength to live by faith. Help me not to fear the "what- ifs" but to take your hand and jump when you say "jump." Let me experience the grand adventure of following you.
Consider a time when you acted in faith rather than feeling. Ponder the blessing that came because of your leap of faith. How can you take a leap of faith today?
What do I fear most about stepping out in faith?
In what areas of my life do I not trust God? Money / Tithe? Submitting to my husband?
Is there a situation in which I need to loosen my grip and give control to God? How can I do that?
Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (NIV)
Isaiah 40:31, But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (NIV)
Psalm 27:1, The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid? (NIV)
Psalm 34:4, I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me form all my fears. (NIV)
2 Corinthians 5:7, We live by faith, not by sight. (NIV)
Journey of a Woman's Heart (Tape Set) by Renee Swope
Unleashing the Power of God (Tape Set) by Mary Southerland
A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George
Originally published Tuesday, 15 June 2004.