When Faith Is Like Abseiling
I distinctly remember the first (and only!) time I went abseiling. It was with the Office Training Core at University, and we got adventure training for free. So being the adventurous type, I went for it and we had a day of learning to ski on a dry slope and abseil.
The part that I don’t think I will ever forget is standing at the very top and back end of the dry ski slope, all harnessed up and facing the instructor, someone I had never met before in my life. He told me I had to step off. It wasn’t the kind of abseiling where you have a rock face or a wall – just thin air.
So I had to take the step into thin air, backwards, trusting this guy who I’d never met with my life. Well I did it! And actually really enjoyed it because I went nice and slowly, enjoying the scenery.
The second time though, was quite different! The instructor told me to let go of my controls – so now I had to trust him even more. And suddenly without warning he dropped me so I was free falling. I could have taken hold of the controls again but I guess I still trusted him! Not very far from the ground he just as suddenly brought me up short with a jolt! I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to enjoy the view that time 🙂
Anyway since then I have often been reminded of that experience as a picture of our faith in God. Often God is like that instructor – where we have to completely trust Him with our lives and step off into mid air. And sometimes He may want us to freefall, let go of all control and hand it all over to Him.
I was just reading Calvary Chapel Magazine where Chuck Smith comments “I have found that God seems fond of showing up at the eleventh hour. Often He doesn’t come through until you’re right at the deadline – and in some cases, beyond the deadline.”
I have found the same thing. The biggest step of faith I ever took was posting my letter of resignation from university after a year of prayer, knowing for sure that God wanted me to leave, but not knowing at all where He wanted me to go and only having a vague idea of what He might want me to do.
But the very next day He came through with an answer, when the youth pastor of my home church called completely out of the blue (he was hundreds of miles away and I didn’t even know he had my number) and asked if I wanted to come and help with the youth ministry, and also asked me out!
So I believe God often comes through at the last minute or even later – just like when Abraham was sacrificing Isaac – because He wants to test and strengthen our faith in Him.
Just like with the abseiling instructor, we have to trust Him implicitly in order to take that step into thin air. We have to understand that He loves and cares for us and will work everything for our good. And if we trust Him then we are able to surrender our lives, dreams and goals to Him.
There is a lovely hymn about trusting Jesus, which you can watch below. The words are underneath the video.