“And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” (Psalm 9:10)
I leaned over the tiny platform…not a good idea for an acrophobic (someone afraid of heights). We were atop a rocky cliff, with a sheer drop-off to a bunch of treetops way down below.
Meanwhile, a rather youthful camp staffer strapped me into a harness and tethered me to a pulley on wheels. In a few seconds, I’d be catapulted more than 700 feet along a zipline into landing on a spring-fed lake.
How did I get here? My brilliant, amazing friend (and partner in crime) Allyson had double-dog-dared me to try this featured activity during our church retreat. Somehow, she convinced me to climb all the way up here with her, and now we were committed.
I looked at the little pulley and the wire holding it. Only a couple of carabiners would keep me from plummeting to certain death below. Yikes! With my heart in my throat, I jumped anyway.
The ride was blessedly short, ending with soaked clothes as the line terminated in the lake. Whew.
Know what was really crazy? We went back and zipped it again. In the process, I learned two significant lessons.
One, my friend Allyson is a brave and dependable soul—I trusted her judgment then, and she has remained my trustworthy friend for more than two decades since those adrenalin-laced rides.
Two, I will never ride that zipline again. Been there, done that. No desire to repeat.
A few days ago, I thought of that infamous milestone in our friendship while I stopped at an intersection—and spotted a couple of fellows dangling alongside a glassy bank building.
They were engaged in window maintenance several stories in the air, rappelling from lines attached to the rooftop. My palms were sweaty just watching them. But I had to admire the way they faced such conditions without flinching.
The common link between my zipline experience and these workers was trust. We trusted in our harnesses, in the strength of the lines, in the people who set up the equipment. Our ability to leap depended on absolute confidence.
You and I trust in lots of things every day. We trust our banks to keep our finances in order. We trust pilots or bus drivers to get us safely to our destinations. We trust pharmacists and doctors with our healthcare. We trust our homes to keep us safe in storms.
Unfortunately, we also trust way too much in ourselves and our own abilities. Wealth, youth, strength, looks, smarts…all have a very short shelf life. And while we’re trusting in these vaporous attributes, we think we’re in control of our lives. What a preposterous lie foisted upon us by the old devil himself!
But when everything is stripped away, where will your trust be found?
In Genesis 30, take a look at a dysfunctional family—Jacob and his two wives, Rachel and Leah, plus the two handmaidens. They’re all embroiled in a hopeless soap opera of misery and manipulation, with long-term consequences because they aren’t trusting God. Instead, they’re concocting schemes to resolve their unfavorable situations, much as Sarah and Abraham had done before them.
By chapter 31, however, the conversation has changed. Jacob, Leah, and Rachel are now in accord to leave the family farm because they have learned to trust in God’s plan. It means a leap of faith, but they’re willing to make it because of God’s faithfulness to them.
It will take a lot of trust for this (now very large) family to uproot and head back to Jacob’s homeland. But God has made it very clear to Jacob that it’s time. His Spirit reveals the truth to his wives as well. They’re ready to trust His power, and it’s a good example for us.
Where is your trust right now? Are you like me, laying my problems before God’s throne but then yanking them back to try to fix them myself? That doesn’t usually end well for me.
Sure, we have lots of problems that require us act responsibly. But for those situations that are out of our jurisdiction, we absolutely must hand everything over to the Lord. That requires trust, relinquishment, and pleading for God’s wisdom and discernment.
We must also trust His timing. It isn’t easy to wait years for Him to answer our prayers. But we can’t see what He’s doing in the background, orchestrating circumstances and changing hearts to prepare us for the future He has purposed for us. We need His Holy Spirit to grant us patience.
The blessing of trust in God’s sovereignty is His peace. When we release our fears and worries to Him, we find that He replaces them with His assurance and rest. That’s a wonderful promise we can claim from Him, even as our emotions seesaw up and down.
I am thankful for my dear sister in Christ, Allyson, who still challenges me today—to be brave, bold, and daring in my spiritual life, trusting in God and His purposes, no matter what the outcome. She consistently points me to our other trustworthy friend, Jesus.
While I may not return to that zipline, who knows? Maybe I’ll venture out on a tandem hang-gliding trip (flying with an expert) over the Sequatchie Valley in Tennessee. Now that will take a lot of trust!
Great and faithful God, You have proven over and over that You are worthy of our worship and trust. We praise You for giving us Your Holy Spirit to guide us through the storms of life. Holy Spirit, grant us Your gifts of patience and peace as we wait upon You, trusting You with the outcomes of our dilemmas as well as our dreams. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
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© Copyright 2022 Nancy C. Williams, Lightbourne Creative (text and photography)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.