Could you give me a push?
My pastor friend was telling us about their family’s trip to the countryside. On one of their hikes, they chanced upon some local boys jumping off a bridge into the flowing river below. The distance from the bridge to the river was about two stories high, but the boys looked like they were having fun.
Feeling adventurous, my pastor and his family of seven went up to the bridge to try it out. He launched himself off the bridge first and plunged into the river below. He looked so exhilarated that his wife and children followed. They all enjoyed the thrill of the brief suspension in the air and then the sudden rush of clear waters. What a way to cool off on a hot day!
Then, his youngest son, Nate, who was about 10 years old wanted to jump from the bridge too. He stood at the railing and said, "Dad, could you give me a push?"
It was such an unexpected request that my friend stopped for a moment. He asked his son if he was sure and Nate nodded his head. With a gentle push, Nate was over the bridge and into the water. He came out really excited and did it again a few more times.
Leap of faith
My friend later reflected that he was amazed at how much Nate trusted him. Nate needed his father to help him take the final step so he could experience the fun and excitement everyone felt when they jumped.
I walked away from our conversation thinking of how crazy my friend and his wife were to jump off the bridge and allow their children to do the same thing! Looking at their lives though, they have been on a roller coaster kind of journey ever since they became a missionary family decades ago.
Their deep faith in God have led them to different countries and start cutting-edge ministries and in the process establish several loving communities of faith. They have been met by opposition, failure, medical issues, betrayal, criticism, but despite all that they have come out triumphant and successful in their endeavors.
Nate’s secure confidence in his Dad to push him over the edge to a daring dive two stories high actually mirrors his own family’s trust and confidence in God.
One of the most dramatic and moving episodes in Jesus’ life was His prayer time in the Garden of Gethsemane a few hours before His capture. This was His final moment before being sacrificed on the cross.
He had every right to refuse to be tortured, ridiculed, imputed with mankind’s every sin, put to death, and be separated from His Father. Oh, how He wanted to say no! Jesus prayed, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will but yours, be done.” His agony was unbearable that He perspired blood.
Jesus, however, understood that the Father knew exactly what He was doing. He loved His Father and had seen how He carefully prepared the earth for man whom He lovingly created in His image and likeness. He witnessed men’s rebellion which created a gap in their relationship with the Father.
Jesus watched while the Father made ways to restore His relationship with men through prophets, judges, kings, priests, and sacrifices. Sadly, all of them provided either a momentary or insufficient solution.
There was no other way for men to experience His Father’s boundless love except that He give His life for them.
If Jesus had not moved in obedience and faith, then our lives would have continued to be about struggling to make it in this world, earning God’s favor, desperately trying to make sense of life, and ultimately, death.
Staring down at the water
There are moments in our life when God asks us to do something. If we like the task or if its something up our alley, we take it up with much zeal. We can’t wait to start. Then there are those moments when God asks us to do something new and different. Most of the time, those tasks can be something we don’t want anything to do with.
So, we end up at the bridge’s railing staring down at the water, sometimes for a long time. There is a moment of indecision. We don’t want to move forward with God’s command and try to find a way out or around it.
Sometimes, we choose to ignore what He says and busy ourselves with other things that are equally important or more important, so we think. We do many things thinking that we’re earning points with God because we’re doing good works.
Reasoning out with God is a good way to let off steam. We rationalize, explain, or argue why we shouldn’t do what God asks. We bargain with God and come up with out-of-this-world justifications that He must find amusing.
Delaying tactics are employed. “I’m not quite up to it yet. Could you give just a little more time?” “Can I do it once I find someone who can accompany me?” This kind of reminds me of Moses who stretched God’s patience when he first received God’s command to go to Pharaoh and tell him to let the Israelites go.
What is really holding you back? The answer is found in one word: trust.
Making the leap
There is a cute phrase that came up in the last several years: Let go and let God. It’s easy to say but hard to do. Whether we admit it or not, there are areas in our lives that we are not willing to give to God. We can rationalize all we want and come up with various explanations and excuses but the bottom line is we want to maintain control over our lives.
The perfect example of full trust in God is Jesus. He and the Father were always together. John 14 records a discourse Jesus had with Thomas, Philip, and Judas which shows His intimacy with the Father. He relinquished His right over His life because of the relationship He had with His Father.
Jesus knew that God always moved in love; after all, He is love. His Father will never do things out of selfishness but will always act in mankind’s best interest. God’s love is pure that only good outcomes result in His works.
How do we go about from partial trust to full trust in God our Father?
Cultivate your relationship with the Father today. As you read the Bible, ask Him to reveal His heart in the verses. What is His message for you? When you pray, instead of bringing all your petitions at once, sit, wait, and listen. One word from Him is enough to answer all your requests, questions, and heal your hurts and diseases.
Ask Him to show you what He is doing. How can you be a part of that? Isn’t it so much better to join what He is doing than asking Him to join you in what you’re doing?
I found that it becomes easier to let go once you rest in Him and allow Him to work things out in your life. What this means is letting Him control your life – handing the reins of your life to Him. There will be moments of uneasiness but the results of letting go and obedience far outweigh the feeling of being in control.
All that we’re doing here on earth is but a shadow of what our future will be like. Jesus Christ will come back soon and will bring those who followed Him on earth to go home to His Father in heaven. It’s been a long time coming and the Father can’t wait to be reunited with His children.
No more delays. Let go and take the leap. It’s worth it.