Zip Lines and Trust Cries: A Christian devotional about trusting God.
by Christine Drews
A few years ago, I went on a zip line excursion with my family in Hawaii. Zip lines are becoming more common at vacation destinations, so maybe you have taken flight precariously harnessed to a rope, too!
The excursion we participated in had 7 zip lines. They started out short, slow, and low to the ground, getting us used to the experience. By the time we got to the last one, it was supposed to be old hat, such that for that zip line—for which the rope had been dropped into place by helicopter—we would willingly run down a dirt ramp, propel ourselves of our own volition into thin air over a deep valley, and look down to take a picture of a waterfall and view the ocean in the distance.
My heart beat fast, and I’m pretty sure I went pale. My mom, who was in her 70s, was with us, and I thought maybe she would be my “out.” As person after person leapt into oblivion, I turned to my mom and selflessly offered to walk back to the tour Jeep if she didn’t want to go on this zip line. But she wanted to do it! There went my excuse.
The young guide—who I am sure had no idea of the gravity of the situation (pun intended)—hooked me to the zip line, checked my belts and buckles, and sent me running down the ramp toward the edge of the cliff. I have never been so scared and then so free—held by nothing I could see—looking at the glorious view that God had created at that particular spot on earth. Amazingly I made it to the other side, where the guide on that end of the rope expertly guided me in. (The photo shows my sister on the zip line.)
It took trust to take the leap off that cliff. I had to trust the guides, the carabiners, the material of the zip line, and the guide on the other side, even though he didn’t look big enough to reel me in.
Sometimes in life we get a chance to choose whether we are going to take a path that requires trust (I so wanted to walk back to the Jeep instead of go on that zip line), and sometimes we have no choice about the path. We get thrown into it, and we have to make up our minds whether to trust or not and figure out who in the world we are trusting!
Last summer, the second type of situation hit my life. I had not chosen this path. It was just happening all around me. I am single, never having been married, and do not have children of my own. About 8 years ago, through circumstances entirely and obviously constructed by God, a young mom and her baby girl came to live in my home. Eight months later, she gave birth to another baby girl. For 8 years, I have been “Aunt Chris” to these sweet young children. We’ve learned to count, read, ride bikes, and talk to Jesus. Last summer, the mom applied for housing, which will allow her to move out when her application gets approved.
I fell to my knees in tears. Lest that sound too pious, I also cried in bed, in the bathroom, at my office desk, and in the car. I was a mess. And soon those tears were for something much deeper than grief for myself or concern for the children. I realized within just a few hours that I simply did not trust God in this.
What?! Me, not trust God? I mean, I love the Lord, I pray and read the Bible, and I love every minute of spending time with Jesus. I see His handiwork all over my life. But when it came to this situation, I did not really trust the God who had so obviously intervened early in these young ones’ lives—and who has done so in remarkable ways since—to take care of them. And that is what I cried about for hours, telling God I was sorry and asking Him to help me to trust Him. I’m still working on it.
I wonder if you’ve found yourself in the same boat—thinking you have it all together or that you’re walking with the Lord but fretting over people and situations in your life. Before we beat ourselves up too badly, it’s good to remember that when Peter walked on the water toward Jesus during a brief moment of perfect faith and then lost trust, became afraid, and started to sink, “Immediately, Jesus reached out his hand and caught him” (Matthew 14:31 NIV). Ah, grace! We have a Savior who knows our frailties, reaches out to us, and catches us.
Peter and Jesus climbed back into the boat together, and the wind died down. Huh. Perhaps as we learn to trust Jesus more fully, and walk side-by-side with Him, the wind will die down and the storm will become less threatening. Why? Because we’ve put our trust in the right thing.
This is much easier said than done. How in the world do we really trust amidst the turmoil in our lives? Journey with me in the next few posts as we explore the issue of trust in a variety of areas in our lives.
Until then, be brave to cry out like Peter, “Lord, save me!” And expectantly wait for Jesus’ generous and gracious response.
I’d love to hear from you. When have you had the most trouble letting go and trusting?
Post by guest author Christine Drews.