When Cooper was little, we removed the ladder from the bunk-beds so he wouldn’t climb on the top bunk and fall off. I can still remember the day Cooper finally learned to climb up to the bunk bed without the ladder. I walked by the room and there he sat on the top-bunk with an ornery grin on his face that said, “Look what I figured out.”
I reminded him that he was not supposed to be on the top bunk and told him, “Now, jump to Dad!” He was hesitant, but I could tell deep down he wanted to. He stood up with his toes just off the edge of the mattress. “Now jump,” I told him. He got close, but just before jumping he backed out. I spent the next few minutes trying to coax him into jumping, reminding him over and over that, “Daddy’s strong and I’ll catch you.” Despite my best pleas that I would catch him, he wouldn’t jump. Each time he’d chicken out just before jumping.
Finally after what seemed like forever, he got too close to the edge, past the point of no return, and like it or not, here he came. I could see the terrified look on his face as he screamed in delight the whole way into my arms. I caught him perfectly and hugged him tight. I was hoping that he would learn that he could trust me. He immediately looked into my eyes and said excitedly, “WOW Daddy, that was cool. Let’s do it again!”
Sometimes I think I do God the same way. There are areas in my life that He pleads with me to jump out in faith to Him, but my fear holds me back. I teeter close to the edge wanting to jump, but can’t get up enough courage to do it. For some strange reason, I feel like I can’t trust him to control that area of my life. Sadly, I know that fear keeps me from reaching my potential and growing spiritually. Despite all the promises God has made to me in His word that He’s strong enough and that He’ll catch me, I sometimes still won’t jump.
So what can I do to put my fear behind me and jump to God? Max Lucado put it this way, “We need to remember that the disciples were common men given a compelling task. Before they were the stained-glassed saints in the windows of cathedrals, they were somebody’s next-door-neighbors trying to make a living and raise a family. They weren’t cut from theological cloth or raised on supernatural milk. But they were an ounce more devoted than they were afraid, and as a result, did some extraordinary things.”
That’s it … I want to be an ounce more devoted than I am afraid, because I want more than anything to be extraordinary in my faith. It’s a starting place. It doesn’t mean I don’t have fears, but instead my devotion and trust in God will outweigh my fears. I’ve jumped before, and every time it has been the ride of my life. More faith than fear is my goal because I want to jump like Cooper, wide-eyed and screaming with joy, “WOW GOD, THAT WAS AWESOME. LET’S DO IT AGAIN.”