Thursday, August 16, 2012

We Can Jump Together

As the weekend approaches, I am certain that at some point we will all be at Dierke’s Lake cooling off.  Thinking about going fills me with joy, simply because of the time it means our family gets to spend together.

Last weekend we went as well.  One of the things my kids (and my husband for that matter) love to do is jump the cliffs.  They climb the stoney paths to the top, contemplate their strategy, and then go for it!  They all seem to do it with such grace and ease.  Fear, of any kind, does not seem to be an issue.  Is it because of their youth?  Or is it simply just not that big of a deal?  After all, what’s the worst that could happen?  A belly-flop?  Nothing a few minutes on the dock wouldn’t cure.

While watching them jump over and over again, I found it to look like so much fun.  It truly isn’t that far of a fall, and when they hit the water and rise back up, they seem so exhilarated.  That’s it!  I want to do it!

Brent and I were sitting on the dock watching them when I turned to him and said, “I want to jump!”  Now to most people, this may not seem like any big deal, but to me, it was HUGE!  You see, I don’t even like step stools.  And a full size ladder?  Forget it!  I’m deathly terrified of heights!  So for me to actually want to jump was almost unbelievable.  Brent was excited for me though and jumped up, taking my hand, and off we went to walk the trail.

From the bottom it didn’t really seem that high, but from the top……. well, I might as well have been atop the Eiffel Tower!  My heart began to pound, my breathing became shallow, and I felt lightheaded.  Shoot, if I didn’t jump I was probably going to pass out and fall anyway!  Brent gently talked to me and took my hand again.  “I’ll hold your hand and we can jump together” he lovingly said.  Love doesn’t get much sweeter than that!  My kids were just as sweet.  They stood beside us, gently prodding me to jump, but understanding my fear.  For what seemed like an hour my toes gripped the rock I was standing on and my family patiently waited. 

But I didn’t jump.  I finally had to apologize, take the walk of shame back down the path and go back to the dock. 

I felt so sad and discouraged.  I really wanted to do this!  How could I be so afraid?  I’ve given birth….. twice…… and I can’t jump off a stupid rock?  Geesh! 

Then this morning, as I was spending my usual time praying and reading my Bible, it struck me….Steven Curtis Chapman’s song, “Diving In”…………“I’m diving in, I’m going deep, in over my head I wanna be. Caught in the rush, lost in the flow, in over my head I wanna go.  The river’s deep, the river’s wide, the river’s water is alive.  So sink or swim, I’m diving in!” 

And suddenly I began to compare my fear of jumping off that cliff into the water below, to the same fear I had before becoming a believer.  Not yet saved, I could still sin, right?  It was okay because I hadn’t committed my life to Christ yet, therefore I didn’t have to answer for my selfish fulfillment of all my desires.  I could just live life the way I wanted to and never have to fear condemnation for it.  Well, at least that’s what my unsaved heart was telling me.  But once I jumped off Satan’s cliff and into the arms of Jesus, life was going to suck!  I was going to have to stop drinking and partying and living the “good life”.  It was going to be all about prayer and reading the Bible and having to answer for everything I did wrong.  It sounded awful, and boring, and scary.  Almost  as scary as that dang ladder.  I shut out God’s call for me over and over  again, in fear.  I had no idea what giving my life to Christ was going to mean for me, just like I had no idea what jumping off that cliff was going to feel like, and I wasn’t going to do it! 

And then one day, as I lay on the family room floor, curled up in a ball, crying uncontrollably at the mess my life was in, Jesus gently came to me with an outstretched arm and said,  “Ill hold your hand and we can jump together.” 

My life has never been the same since.  Praise be to God, never again have I ever been as fearful as before I took His hand….. and jumped!

 We’ll be back at Dierke’s tomorrow…………..and this time, I’m diving in!!!

(This was written by my dear friend and sister in Christ, Leslie Blaser.  I would like to see more from her, wouldn't you?)

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