The Big Jump
I have something to confess. Heights make me uneasy. That is not to say I don’t enjoy heights, but looking down kind of scares me! For instance, the camp at which I used to work had a tower that you could climb and jump off into the lake. We always gave guys a hard time if they “chickened out” and didn’t jump. But then I went up to the top for the first time. Mind you, I was one of the lifeguards, so I wasn’t really afraid of drowning. I was afraid of the falling time before I hit the water.
But I learned a lesson a long time ago: Once you take that first step, the rest is easy. In fact, the rest pretty much takes care of itself. Once you jump off, you can’t help but get the rest of the way down! So why do we fear taking the first step? Is it because we don’t know what will happen? No, the answer is you’re going to fall! What we fear is not being in control. As long as you’re on top of the tower, you are in control. Once you’re in the water, you’re in control. But for those few brief moments in between, you can’t change what will happen.
In Genesis 33, Jacob knows he’s about to meet his brother – the same brother from whom he swindled the birthright and the blessing of the firstborn. Jacob has taken every foreseeable precaution to make this a pleasant greeting: lavish gifts, sending messengers ahead, putting his beloved Rachel at the back of the caravan. But nothing could prepare him for coming face to face with his brother. Imagine Jacob’s moment of adrenaline as he sees Esau running full tilt straight at him! Jacob must have been awfully relieved to feel his brother’s loving embrace rather than a bone-crushing tackle. But he had to come face to face with that moment of not being in control.
Esther had a number of moments where she had to step out by faith: entering the king’s presence without a summons, inviting her nemesis to dinner (twice!), revealing that she was part of the group about to be slaughtered, and in Esther 9, waiting to see the outcome of her bravery. Would it pay off, or would it backfire? She knew she had the king on her side, but would the people follow through with the King’s original decree, or would they fear the retaliation of the Jews?
That brings us to our New Testament passages: Mark 4 and Romans 4. Romans 4 tells about Abraham’s faith. That faith was ultimately why he was declared to be a righteous man. Verse 20 especially outlines this point: “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;” How was Abraham strong in faith? There are a number of ways, but in this passage specifically, Abraham believed that God would keep his promise of a son (even though it took over 25 years to see that promise fulfilled!)
But the greatest example of faith would have to be Jesus Christ Himself. When we look at the different types of soils represented in Mark 4, we routinely think of salvation and that is accurate, but Jesus said regarding the good soil that the plant sprung up and showed signs of growth and life.
Does your faith show by example that it is alive and growing? Faith will always produce some fruit. It may not come instananeously, but growth and life will come. You want to know the hardest part about the proceess of trusting God? Taking the results out of your hands.
Just like jumping off that tower, putting your faith for your future, takes a bold, brave moment. Once that’s out of the way, the rest is not so hard. How do you know if you have faith that someone wouldn’t have to question? Easy – real, living, growing faith produces results. You can’t help but see someone who is really committed to their faith in Christ because their actions back it up.
So what are you waiting for? Look at your life and see what tower of the Christian life you might be on. Then, give up all control to the only One who is really in control. Take the big jump!