Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Choice

I was reminded this morning of an image a friend told me in college. I wrote the story I've seen play out many times in my lifetime for another friend this morning. Thought I would share it with you.

There you stand on the edge of a cliff. Before you a beautiful mountain range, before that, a deep valley filled with trees. Although beautiful from atop, you know what lies beneath there is scary. You know it must be beautiful, but the unknown scares you. it is shadowed by the trees. You just know you don't want to go there right now.

Behind you, is the land that is familiar. It's safe, it's the norm, and it’s all you know. It's a great place, filled with loved ones and fun things, but it's not where you are going, where you have been called to go. Staying there is not an option, because God has called you to what is before you.

But how do you get there? Jump? No way, you can't jump there; the valley is at least 5 miles wide. You would never make it. If you step, you fall. You fall into the valley, although nice, you just don't want to go there now. Plus the valley is like a mile down from where you are standing. What do you do?

God whispers, "Just step."

You: "what? no way! If I step, I will fall and most likely get hurt. Have you seen that drop? Yeah I will probably die."

Again, God whispers, "Just step."

You: "no way dude...too scary."

God, again very gently but firmly, "Trust me. Just step."

You realize now, there is no where else to go. The sun is starting to set and the forest life standing behind you is not friendly at night. So you decide, "I must step." You hesitate and think, "Am I an idiot? Seriously, I'm going to kill myself."

Then you hear that familiar whisper, "Just Trust Me. Take that step. It'll be ok."

So with every ounce of bravery left within you (which isn't very much right now), you close your eyes and step.

Immediately gravity starts to work and you fall but only for a brief second. You land on something very solid, very strong, very soft and gentle. You open your eyes and feel the wind in your face. You look down and see you are flying on the wings of the biggest eagle you have ever seen. Then you remember a song with the words, "You hide in the shelter of HIS wing" (Ps 91: 4: He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge;)

You see what you didn't was beneath the ledge was a little cove. Nesting in that cove was the eagle, patiently waiting for his Creator to give the signal. The reason this eagle was created was for this specific time. This was his sole purpose in life, to catch you.

God knew. He knows everything. He sent you to this cliff because He knew you needed to be reminded of what trust really was. He knew the only way you could really rely on it was to put you in a situation where that is all you had.

God also knows the journey you are about to partake. He knows the level of trust you need to have in him.

This one incident solidifies your trust in Him, for He caught you. He ALWAYS catches you. And where you are heading, you will need to be caught a lot.

So be brave, be bold, and step. Do what 90% of people are afraid to do, but long for just an ounce of courage to do...TRUST.

When I am at my weakest, this is the picture, the inner battle I see.

Life over the past 15 years or so have been quite the journey where I have to step out A LOT and trust.

Here are some the times when the previous story was reality in my life:
  • When I was called to study Psychology in college
  • When I was called to leave home for 3 months for an internship (within that, travel to Malaysia)
  • When I was called to ministry and marry a pastor at the largest church I had ever seen.
  • When I was called to go to Peru and on that trip walk through an agricultural strike.
  • When I was called to go to India
  • When I couldn't get pregnant.
  • When I did infertility treatment after infertility treatment, each one failing.
  • When I was asked/called to be a mother to the motherless and Katylynn was born.
  • When seeing the world's orphan epidemic first hand and knowing "doing nothing is not an option" We began the international adoption process for our son.
  • When we faced opposition for our previously mention decision, knowing this is what God has called me to.
  • When faced with the horrors of my past and know moving forward is the only way.

    These are just a few of the most life-defining, completely scary and rewarding moments in my life. But all I could do was remember the eagle. How could I not trust, not step?

    He has been so faithful to me, as he has to you.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.

Psalm 63:6-8 "On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadows of your wings. I cling to you, your right hand upholds me."

Psalm 61:3-4 " For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings."

Psalm 36:6-7 " Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. Howe priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadows of your wings."


Jen Bontrager said...

Just want you to know I read it and it gave me goosebumps!

Eric said...

Love it-I think I needed to read it tonight. It goes along with what's been on my heart the past few days, "Go Big or Go Home, for God!" Yikes! Thanks for sharing sweet friend!

Eric said...

woops, "Eric" is actually "Tonia" Didnt realize I was on his account! :)