This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. … For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. [Psalm 91:2,11-12 (NLT)]
There are some things a grandma would rather not see and a video of her 15-year old granddaughter bungee jumping off a crane is one of them! I’ve already watched her zip line and fly off a trapeze into a stranger’s outstretched arms, but this one took the prize! Talk about a leap of faith!
How could my son trust his daughter’s life to absolute strangers at a carnival? Was the cord in good condition? Was she harnessed in properly? Did the workers have any training? As I pondered these questions, it occurred to me that for much of our lives we have to trust absolute strangers with our safety. I don’t know the mechanics, air traffic controllers or pilot when I get on an airplane nor do I know the lift operators, maintenance crew or manufacturer when I board the gondola for a ride up the mountain. I don’t know the other drivers as I speed down the interstate or stop at a red light. I’ve never met the people who made or inspected the elevators I ride or the drug company that makes or pharmacist who fills my prescriptions, yet I have to have faith in them all. If I didn’t, I’d be afraid to leave my house. In fact, if I didn’t trust strangers, I’d even be afraid to stay in my house. After all, I don’t know who built and installed the furnace, laid the gas line, or made my smoke and CO detectors. I simply have to trust that my house won’t explode and I won’t die of carbon monoxide poisoning in my sleep.
Every day, we have to trust complete strangers with our lives and safety; most of the time, they are worthy of that trust. Unfortunately, as in the case of the deliberately crashed Germanwings Flight 9225 or the driver who runs a red light, some people aren’t. Nevertheless, while we don’t fly Air Chance and we do drive defensively, we continue to board airplanes and ride in cars. While I don’t inspect an elevator before boarding it, I sometimes glance at the inspection certificate or count the occupants once on board. Although I don’t take my medicine to a chemist for analysis, I do use a reputable pharmacy and inspect my pills before taking them. Nevertheless, no matter how cautious we are, it still comes down to a matter of trust; we have to exercise faith in absolute strangers.
If we can have faith in people we don’t know, why do we have so little in a God we do know? The story is told of a man who went out walking on a dark night. He slipped and fell over a cliff. While tumbling down the mountain, he managed to reach out and grab hold of a small tree. Hanging there, he grew desperate and called out, “God, send help to save me!” A booming voice from heaven responded, “I’m here my son. You don’t need help, all you have to do is let go and drop to the ground.” Looking down into the darkness and unsure of what lay below, the man called out again, “Is there anyone else up there who can help?”
How many times are we like that man, unwilling to let go or take a leap of faith? If we can trust strangers who, even at their best, are imperfect, why do we have so much difficulty trusting our perfect and loving God? When He tells us to let go, will we trust him enough to do it? Will we take a leap of faith?
You can’t learn how to fly if you never take a leap of faith. [Anonymous]