You are my Peace. My Comfort; my Shalom; my Righteousness. My Joy. You fill my life with blessings. Teach me the Secrets of the Vine; the wisdom of simplicity; the joy of abiding in You.
I am the Vine.
I keep seeing something like a scene from a video of a wingsuit flight. These crazy people put on these fabric suits that turn them into human bats and they jump off of mountains into thin air, soaring over the landscape. It looks exhilarating but incredibly dangerous.
They’ve made a tradeoff. They’ve decided that the adventure is worth the risk.
Are we getting ready to talk about the tension between love and fear again?
Partly, but it’s broader than that. It’s about faith, really. You have the expression, ‘leap of faith”. That’s not in the Bible, but it’s pretty descriptive about what living faith is all about. If you want some new adventures- in love, in relationships, in ministry, in worship and in life in general- you’re going to have to jump off of some cliffs.
So your biggest challenge, your biggest self-contained enemy is fear of the unknown and your instinctive desire to protect yourself- from hurt, loss, embarrassment, even inconvenience. Every great human achievement began with somebody jumping off some sort of cliff The nature of a frontier is that nobody knows what’s beyond it.
So how do I defeat the self-contained enemy that’s so risk-averse, so into self-protection?
You have to ignore its voice and listen to mine. Remember your eight-year-old self standing on the end of the diving board at Gulfport, contemplating your first head-first dive. When you hesitated your Dad quoted FDR: “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. Ar some point it clicked- your problem wasn’t something lurking down in the green waters of Boca Ciega bay but something lurking in your own head. Then you made a choice. Which voice were you going to believe- your Dad, who said “you can do it!” or the nagging voices that kept throwing doubts at you: “What if it hurts? What if you get water up your nose and you choke? What if you get disoriented and you can’t make it back to the surface?” None of that stuff was valid, but the only way you could really figure that out was to dive.
You could have had a discussion with your Dad about bouyancy and the vital capacity of your lungs and how the force of the water would close your nostrils, but it probably wouldn’t have helped much. That’s not the kind of knowing you needed. What you needed to know was that your Dad was trustworthy and wasn’t trying to lure you into some sort of horrible experience but rather one that was fun, invigorating, healthy.
So it all comes down to trust.
Sure it does. Who do you know Me to be?
All-knowing, all-loving, all-wise God.
So, when I say “jump”, it should be a no-brainer, right?
Well, yeah, it SHOULD. Why isn’t it, at least all the time?
Because what you know about Me in your head hasn’t fully migrated down 18 inches into your heart-into your innermost being.
So how do I get that to happen?
By jumping off cliffs.
Yep. That’s how it works.