Today, I am reminded of a family reunion trip we took a few years ago where my fearless son Jonathan talked the rest of us into taking a leap of faith. What challenge is awaiting you this morning? Will you turn away in fear or step out in faith?
For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Jeremiah 29:11 – TLB
It was a warm, sunny morning as my cousins and I paddled out on our rafting adventure. Our favorite river raft guide, my son Jonathan, was guiding the boat, promising a fun day ahead for his raft full of family.
After traveling through some smooth water, we meandered across toward the river’s edge. I noted that there was virtually no shoreline on this stretch of river. It was then that I noticed the menacing cliff glaring down at us. Protruding out over the water, a huge rock loomed above us, its outer ledge teetering twenty feet above our heads.
Jonathan called for us to stop paddling, and we brought the boat to a relative idle. One of my little cousins turned to Jonathan and asked, “What’s this?”
“It’s called Jump Rock.”
“What are we doing here?”
Without further explanation, Jonathan maneuvered the boat over to the water’s edge. Amongst the thick foliage, I could just barely make out a series of rocks that loosely resembled a set of steps. Jonathan instructed all of us to jump out of the boat and wade over to the steps.
“Just climb up that rocky path to the left, move to the edge of the rock and jump. It’s a blast!”
I sat there, dividing my attention between him and the protruding rock, doubting my son’s sanity and questioning his judgement. Yet, as one by one, my fellow travelers disembarked, I garnered my courage and got out of the boat.
Climbing up the rocky path was a bit challenging, but soon I was at the top. I giggled as I watched my young cousins throw caution to the wind and jump with glee. Hitting the water with a huge splash, I heard their exuberant laughter and joyous exclamations. As each boy hit the water, Jonathan would maneuver the boat to pick them up.
Now it was my turn. I stood on the edge of that precipice, looking out over that expanse of water, and my stomach flipped. “I can’t do this. It’s too far. This is crazy.”
But my family below were calling, beckoning me to join them. “Come on Mama, do it. It’s fun!”
Assessing my options of climbing back down that steep rocky path or moving forward to jump, I decided to step out in faith. With a little knot of nerves in my gut, I stepped to the edge and leapt to the abyss below. With a rush of air, I was flying, swirling, dancing in the wind. It was exhilarating! Suddenly, I hit the water, sank below it and surfaced quickly thanks to my handy personal flotation device wrapped snugly around my chest. Cheers erupted from the boat, and I found myself smiling gleefully.
What an experience, and I had almost missed it. My fears and doubts had almost stopped me from taking that step forward. I would have missed the adventure, never tasted of that exhilarating experience. If I had stayed in the boat, I would have missed the opportunity. A little risk was required in order to experience the reward.
God has a plan for our lives. It is a good plan, destined to give us a hope and a future. To fulfill that plan, we have to get out of the relative safety of the boat. We must step out in faith, not knowing what exactly lies ahead, but trusting the Guide who is leading us. Sometimes, we must take a risk, a leap of faith, to experience the reward of what God has in store for us. There is good work for us to do, encouragement for us to give, experiences for us to enjoy. We just have to get out of the boat and take that first step of faith.
Are you ready? Both thrills and challenges await us. Let’s don’t miss out on those opportunities. It’s time to get out of the boat. Come on! Let’s jump!
Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven.
Psalm 85:11 – NIV
O Lord God, we know You have a good plan for our lives. Help us to trust in Your guiding Hand, as we encounter obstacles and work to overcome our fears. Help us to step out in faith to do the good work You planned for us long ago. Let us also remember that wherever we go, You are always in that boat with us.