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It looked fun…at first. From the bottom looking up, it looked like a nice, leisurely ride to the top. I bet the view from up there is amazing. And the only thing standing between me and the top of this mountain peak is a mile of cable line and one tram ride. And the voice in my head yelling “are you out of your mind!!??”

If you’ve ever had a fear of heights, then you’ll understand when I say that standing at the base of a ski lift that traverses over a mile straight up the mountain to an elevation of nearly 4,000 feet can be a daunting view. Looking around and seeing more rusted bolts and dry-rotted boards than I could find in an abandoned lumber yard as we make our way to the loading area does little to reassure the growing-louder-by-the-second voice in my head that is trying to remind me that if God wanted me to do something that required my feet leave the ground for more than two seconds, He’d have given me wings.


As I stand in the loading zone and the chair approaches from behind, I wait for the inevitable…and as it literally sweeps me off my feet as it knocks my legs out from under me, I plop down and feel the chair bounce and sway as the cable above us gives a little. Now we’re swaying back and forth as my feet leave the ground and we pull the bar over our heads…a bar that would no more hold me in this contraption than a paper bag would hold in a wild boar looking for its next meal. As the ground beneath us disappears and grows farther and farther away, I notice that this “seat” is no more than hollow metal pipes the thickness of a metal coffee can, held together by rusted bolts. Yeah…how’d I get here again?



A Quarter Mile Up


Halfway up the mountain, it occurs to me that just about every muscle in my body is tense. I’m literally hanging on so tightly with one hand that my fingers are tingling because there is no blood left in them. My other hand is so firmly attached to my son sitting next to me that I’m sure I’ll be reported to DFS for child abuse when someone sees the hand-shaped indention I’ve surely left in his side. It does little to calm my mind when I’m looking down and realize that if I do fall from here, I most likely won’t die…just shatter a femur or two, blow out a knee, disintegrate my ankles, and maybe puncture a lung. I wonder how much my AFLAC policy pays per bone?

 


Don’t Be Deceived – That’s a 75′ Drop


We like being in control, don’t we? We like the feeling that comes with knowing that we have a say in things…that we have the reigns and even if we’re flying by the seat of our pants, the decisions are ours to make, and we’re piloting this ship we call our life. Our feet are planted firmly on the ground, and we have the power…we’re in control.


But are we? Are we really? Let’s be completely honest here. The feeling of “control” I had when holding on for dear life to that coffee can dangling seventy-five feet above the ground on its way to the top of a mile-high mountain did nothing more than give me a false sense of security. Had something failed on that rusted piece of metal built back when moonshiners ran them hills, I would have no more been able to keep from falling to the rocks below and shattering every bone in my lower body than I could stand on a street corner and catch a bowling ball falling from the Empire State Building. It ain’t gonna happen.


Yet we walk through life unwilling to let go, don’t we? We hold on to the things (and the people) we love so tight, that letting go becomes too much to believe possible. And when you boil it down to the core of why we struggle with letting go, it’s one thing. All too often, we let our fear of letting go overwhelm us. It’s not that we don’t want to let go. No, deep down inside…I believe at the heart of us all…we don’t want to be wound so tight that we can’t breathe. We long to let go and feel the exhilaration of adrenaline pumping through our veins as we live life to the fullest. But despite that yearning, it’s the fear that drives us to hold on so tight…fear of what might happen if we do let go. Make no mistake, friend…if it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen whether we’re holding on or not. And when it does, us holding on is not going to stop it from hurting when we hit bottom.


God is calling us to let go. Our lives are not ours, and we certainly don’t have the control and power we think we have. All we have is an illusion…a false sense of security provided by what we see, hear, smell and feel. We have to look beyond that illusion and realize that life happens on the other side of the fear. Will it be easy to let go? Not always. Will it hurt to let go? Sometimes. Will it be worth it to let go? Absolutely!!! It’s time to truly and fully give our lives to Christ. To give Him the reigns and let Him take His rightful place in the pilot seat of our life. It’s time to let go and let God. If you can, you’ll see for yourself that the view from the top IS worth it.

 


It IS an Awesome View


And yes…you’ll even find you can have a lot of fun along the way.

 

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“The fear of the LORD leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble. – Proverbs 19:23

Posted by Jason Meinershagen with
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I don’t know about you, but I love a plan.  It is so comforting to be able to look ahead and have a sense of what is going to happen.  Whether it is a to do list for the day, an outline for hosting a holiday party, a notebook full of lesson plans for the year of school ahead, or a 5/10/20 year list of goals for my life, I find security in having a plan. 

This part of my personality has wrestled with God more often than I would care to admit.  You see, while He definitely has a plan, and His plan is perfect, He rarely, possibly never, gives me the plan ahead of time,  at least not in it’s entirety.  He seems to operate on a “need to know” basis, and each step is shared when He decides the time is right.  So many times I have longed to know the plan, or at least the next thing RIGHT NOW.  Why, oh why, must I wait when that information could bring me so much peace?   

I know that God’s ways are not my ways, and that they are perfect.  Isaiah 55:8&9 says, “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD.  And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.  For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts”.  In Psalms 18:30 we read, God’s way is perfect.  All the LORD’S promises prove true.  He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.  His Word is true ;therefore, I know that even when I don’t know what is coming next and think that I would be better off if I did, it is I who am wrong. 

God has a long history of relating to His children in this way.  Joseph was given visions of the end game for his life, but God chose to not tell him that first he would endure the betrayal of his brothers, slavery, false accusations, prison, and more.  God had a plan, and Joseph had faith in God.  Over the course of his life that plan was revealed and Joseph saw the goodness of God’s ways. 

Moses was told part of God’s plan as well – he was going to be used to lead God’s people out of slavery.  He didn’t know up front the details of the plagues, that he would part the Red Sea by the power of God, that the people would rebel over and over again, and that it would take 40 years of wandering to enter the promised land – and he would not actually be able to go in himself.   I wonder if Moses would have made different choices if he knew exactly what he was getting into from the beginning.  After all, he was reluctant even with the little bit of the plan he was entrusted with! 

What about Mary, the mother of Jesus?  The angel Gabriel delivered an amazing message to her.  He left out some details that she would experience, however.  Giving birth far away from her family in a filthy stable, running for her life with her little family to Egypt, and what her son would endure for her sake, for the sake of us all.  Would she have said yes if she knew all of that up front? 

My own story isn’t as big in the tapestry of God’s relationship with man.  I’m not a major player.  But I am no stranger to being given a vision for something the Lord is going to do that plays out in entirely different ways than I expected.  When I said “I do” to my husband I had no idea that I had just stepped into a plan that would include heartbreak, rebellion, addiction, betrayal, and more.  I believed God had spoken to my heart about using my husband and myself to minister to the broken.  I had no idea how broken things were going to get.   

Over the last year I have witnessed God breaking many of those chains and revealing more of His plans for our life.  It has been amazing and humbling, wonderful, and sometimes shattering.  As I see it come together, how God is indeed using all of those things that the enemy meant for destruction to bless and to heal. I can’t help but wonder if I would have said “yes” had I known what I would have had to walk through to get to this place.  If I had known the plan.  While I would like to say that I would have, I honestly don’t know.  And while in some areas I see such victory, there are other places that I am having to walk by faith and not by sight. 

Let me be clear, I believe God has a plan for me, just like He had a plan for Joseph, and Moses, and Mary.  And his plans, like his ways, are good and perfect.  He didn’t cause the sin that wreaked such havoc in my life, or in the lives of those historical figures.  He didn’t cause the sin that impacts your life, either.  He does use all of the circumstances we find ourselves in to fit us for the work He has for us.  To make us suitable for His plans.  His good and perfect plans. 

I don’t know where you find yourself today.  Perhaps you thought that God gave you a vision for your life and it doesn’t seem to be happening according to the plan.  Even when there is pain, and loss, and hardship beyond comprehension, I want to remind you that God’s ways are perfect and His plan is good.  Don’t give up!  Let’s keep our faith in Him, even when we can’t see the way.  He’s got a great view of what’s ahead and we can trust him! 

Posted by Denise Woodliff with

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