Saturday, March 4, 2017

Leap of Faith

Open your heart not to the possibility of falling, but to flying!
It was roughly a year ago that I took a leap of faith. I launched a little thing called Only Hope Blog! In some ways I can hardly believe it has been a year. It’s interesting to look back over my posts and where I’ve been; where we have journeyed together. God has been faithful through the highs and lows and I want to thank everyone for their support and encouragement.
I was working on my Life book this week at the park when I overheard a conversation between a father and his young daughter. The dad was standing near the playground equipment watching both his toddler son and preschool daughter gravitate towards opposite ends. He went after his son, while his daughter waited to climb the jungle gym dome. I call it that because I’m not exactly sure what it is. The equipment has an umbrella shaped curve that kids climb on from one side to the other. There’s really not much too it except that the first step is at least two feet off the ground and where the challenge lies. If you can get on the thing, you are doing pretty well.
The little girl pleaded with her dad to lift her up, but he refused and told her to try it herself. From my spot in the pavilion I thought it sounded kind of harsh. The little girl was about eye level with the step and the dad could have easily lifted her up. It was none of my business really but it drew me in.
The little girl reached up and attempted to climb but quickly swung back down. A few more attempts went the same way, but finally after a minute her foot found its way onto the bottom of the dome section. She pulled herself up and began to climb. Her dad watched her with a smile. “Look at you!” He beamed. “I told you that you could do it! Good job!” He stayed nearby to help her keep her balance just in case, but the little girl soared to the top of the dome and over to the other side. Both the daughter and the dad left the area feeling proud and with smiles on their face.
As I watched them walk down the path I felt that inner whisper and I knew what my heart was exploring. I had immediately thought the father didn’t care, when in reality he cared enough to let her find success on her own. He was teaching her how to make the climb herself. He was giving her the chance to spread her wings, yet he never left her side. Had she needed him, he was only a step away. It was such a beautiful reminder of God’s great love for us.
There is much I have learned so far in this year journey, but one of the steadfast lessons I have seen over and over again is how close God really is when we look for Him. He is in the smallest of things—the setting of the sun, the blooming of a flower, and in the quietest moments. He is right beside us when we need Him, but His heart is for us to live life unhindered.
The scene I observed challenged my heart because I am quick to think God doesn’t care when he makes me try things on my own or when it seems He is not helping. But oh how He must just be waiting to celebrate once I reach the top. How his heart must swell with pride when I take that leap of faith.
My dad used to have a poster in his church office of a wacky looking dude who was leaping midair. It represented a youth camp with the theme of taking a leap of faith in life with Christ. I did not know what it meant then but I have often thought back to that picture and those words. Deep in my heart, I hope I can make it true. I hope I can live life constantly leaping, constantly midair, constantly knowing who will catch me if I fall, but holding tight to the possibility of flight.
And I hope for that kind of life for you too. Wherever you stand in life, whatever jump you need to make, be encouraged and choose to take the leap. You can do it! Open your heart not to the possibility of falling, but to flying! This blog is forever a part of me now and I am so glad I took the leap; may we venture to keep on jumping together. Happy First Birthday Only Hope!
Psalm 28:7The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
-Only Hope

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