Friday, October 18, 2013

Trusting God is Always a Choice

I took a group of students to a wilderness camp a few weeks ago. Great trip!

Part of the experience at the camp was learning to trust. Each activity required special equipment—typically harnesses—that kept you from falling if something went wrong. Whether it was standing on top of a telephone pole and diving out to a trapeze swing fifty feet off the ground, or rappelling down the side of a sheer cliff, or climbing the face of a mountain, or zip-lining from about three thousand feet up…each person would be strapped into a harness and attached to a safety line.
It’s amazing how our self-preservation instincts kick in to tell us not to do such frightening things. That’s where the test part comes in—to see if we can overcome instinct and trust the equipment. It is quite the struggle for some.
You see, we have a list of expectations that form our comfort zone—things like: height, visibility, temperature, objects, control, people. It’s our space. Anything that threatens our space challenges our comfort. Falling probably scares us more than most other threats.

To fight the fear of falling, when in reality we cannot fall because of a harness, we have to rely on trust. I have to convince myself that the harness is trustworthy. I may slip some but I will not be hurled headlong onto the jagged rocks of a rugged ravine. The fight is in my mind. The moment says, “Jump.” My mind says, “You’re crazy.” The harness says, “I’m here.” Imagination says, “You’re gonna die.” Reality says, “You’re safe.” The person waiting behind me says, “Just do it.” Who do I trust?
When it comes to faith, both our spirit and our mind are engaged. Of the two, our mind is the hardest to convince that God can be trusted. It is so polluted by suggestions of His inadequacies that fear makes us doubt. Trusting becomes a battle. The battle is for submission of my mind. My spirit agrees but my mind controls the body. The body hears the spirit but obeys the mind.

When the mind trusts, the body will jump. When the body jumps the whole life is filled with an exhilaration reserved only for those who act upon their faith.
 PS 37:23 The steps of a man are established by the LORD, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the LORD is the One who holds his hand. I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread.

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