My heart was beating fast and my hands felt clammy as I looked down over a 45-ft cliff in the beautiful Great Canyon. My courage seemed to shrink smaller and smaller at each step I took closer to the edge. “I should have stayed on the 10-ft cliff,” I repeatedly told myself. “It’s good enough, who cares if I just stay there?” Peer pressure had done its work. I had only come up to the much higher cliff because I wanted to take a closer look, so I followed the rest of my friends up the cliff only to look down and realize I was not up for the diving challenge. One by one they passed me by as each of my taunting friends would dare me to follow, but I would not give in. I told myself I was content. “I’m so confident, I don’t need to please anyone.” At least, that’s what I told myself to ease the shame of not wanting to jump. Because of my hostility towards heights, I was simply terrified to dive off into the deep, dark, and daunting waters that would surely take my life or break my legs at the very least. Various friends dove off multiple times as I kept analyzing how long it would take for me to hit the water. I don’t remember exactly how I managed to accumulate enough audacity to take the leap, but after what seemed to be an eternity, I decided to take one simple step into the unknown. I think it could have been the fact that I had been out of the water for so long that I just wanted to be refreshed, or maybe I just knew walking back down the cliff would not offer the same reward. I wanted to have a story. I wanted to have a moment of courage that I would remember the rest of my life. I would not settle for the convenience and safety of a 10-ft cliff. I wanted the FULL experience of diving off the deep end, so I stopped trying to figure out the details and mechanics, and I just simply jumped. I still have the picture my friend took of this amazing conquest. It is a good reminder to me that sometimes I just may be one step away from experiencing something that will change my life forever.
I’m not entirely sure why some people seem to enjoy the thrill of a threat while others seem to enjoy the confidence of comfort. I do know, in my short years of following Jesus, that we can have FULLNESS and we can experience COMFORT, but we can’t have both. God wants to renew and revive things in our soul that would cause us to see the adventure that lies ahead of us, if we trust Him. Maybe some of us have mastered the 10-ft cliff in our friendship with Jesus. What if our discontentment in certain areas of our lives, is in direct proportion to the level of comfort we have in our Christianity? What if we could experience so much more? Would we take a leap of faith into the FULLNESS He has for us? Maybe the first small step towards having God breathe life into our courage may be a simple prayer. Maybe that prayer could sound like: “Father, I know there’s more. I don’t want to remain diving off my old and comfortable spirituality. I want whatever You have for me, even if it means climbing to a higher cliff. I know You created me to be Your child who lives daily with purpose. Since Your Holy Spirit is our helper, I ask for help. Help me desire more relationship with You, help me to love You through steps of obedience, even in spite of fear and uncertainty. Help me to experience the fullness of life in You. Breathe new life in me and give me the boldness that only comes through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I choose to trust You daily. Thank You for hearing my prayer and for being a loving Father. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”
Let’s take a walk. Go to a park somewhere alone or with friends or family. But before you do this, talk to your spouse, or your kids, or your friends and think about what you’re going to do. Call it a prayer walk. Explain to your kids that God created them with an amazing purpose, and He can use them even at a young age. You can start it off by walking together and praying this prayer three or four times and have them ask you any questions they may have. Maybe their leap of faith can be using kindness and friendship with kids at school who don’t have other friends, or maybe they can start reading two or three chapters of the New Testament every day. Maybe a leap of faith could be for you to have family prayer five minutes every night before bedtime, even after you have yelled at your kids.
Scriptures to read:
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” - Matthew 19:26
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? - Romans 8:31
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. - John 15:16
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. - 1 Timothy 4:12