Throughout college, I worked on a high ropes course at a summer camp for inner city youth. For me, it was the best job in the world. Not only did I get to take hundreds of kids and chaperones through a challenging group course 30 feet up in the air, but I enjoyed the daily experience of hanging freely from a harness and perfecting the course challenges each day.
Before I would lead a group up to the course, we would walk them through strict training, which included things like how to communicate on the course, the rules for the activities, and how to properly stay secured on the cables. I would also discuss “perceived risk”, which is the idea that despite the height and fear of falling, you are actually incredibly safe completing a high ropes course. The aircraft cables we would be attached to were able to carry incredible loads of weight beyond what we could ever put on them. The harnesses were also created to withstand more weight and strain than a human would every need. So, if everyone followed all the proper safety protocol, they were actually much safer completing the course than they would be hiking back to their cabin afterward. All the “risk” they were taking was merely a perception, not a reality.
Yet, it didn’t matter. As soon as each participant started the climb up the cargo net to the top of the telephone poles, hearts would start racing, voices would become feeble, and tears would often be shed. Would the participants be able to overcome their fears? Would they trust that what I told them while they were still on the ground was true?
Our life felt oddly reminiscent of these college ropes course memories this past month. Justin and I were the participants on the ground hearing the truth:
God loves you. (John 3:16)
God has a plan for your life. (Psalm 139, Jeremiah 29:11)
Do not worry, but seek first the kingdom. (Matthew 6:25-34)
Take up your cross and follow me. (Matthew 16:24)
Go and make disciples and surely I am with you always. (Matthew 28:16-20)
So do not fear. (Isaiah 41:10)
Set your mind on things above. (Colossians 3:1-3)
But then, as we had been sensing was coming for some time now, we were led up the cargo net. There we stood at the top of the telephone poles, attached to everything needed to hold us firmly, and felt God urging us to jump.
The perceived risk became overwhelming and almost suffocating. What would we do? God’s promises seemed great on the ground, but from way up here, standing on the edge of the platform, it was a whole different ball game. Could we really jump off the platform and never look back?
We had to ask ourselves some hard questions:
Do we really believe it?
Do we really trust what God says in the Bible?
Do we really believe that God is who he says he is?
Do we really believe that God has a plan and a purpose for our lives?
Do we really believe that the Holy Spirit will lead and guide us as we seek him?
Do we really believe that the promises in the Bible are for us?
Do we really believe our lives are in God’s hands?
Fear welled up powerfully, but God’s Word triumphed! Our times in the Bible were filled with comfort and peace. The truths God had been searing into our hearts over the years as we read the Bible were spoken over every lie. The time of the church year, seeing Jesus as our all victorious KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS, was powerful and refreshing. The reality of his imminent return was fresh on our hearts and the burden to share his gospel and fight for the next generation was all the more urgent.
We both spent a tumultuous week wrestling over our fears and seeking God in prayer. We were comforted by the heroes of faith chapter of the Bible, Hebrews 11.
Noah prepared an ark.
Abraham obeyed and went out.
Moses left Egypt.
It doesn’t say how these heroes of faith felt about their decision. It merely tells us what they did. It was time for us to act in faith. It didn’t matter how real the fears felt, what mattered was what was true, and we determined that the only unchanging truth we could trust in was the Word of God. God had been leading us to this moment for a long time, the only thing holding us back now was fear.
So, hand in hand, off the platform we jumped...
...and peace rushed in, a peace that surpassed all understanding (Philippians 4:7). How alive we’ve been since that day! How close God has been to us in his Word. How comforting it has been to worship him together. How completely dependent we have been on him in prayer, seeking wisdom and continued direction.
So, we couldn’t be more excited to share some big news with you! Over the next few months, we’ll have a lot of big changes coming as Justin transitions out of his current job to do Chosen Gen full-time. We’ve had a vision for this ministry on our hearts for years now, but a lack of time has always stopped us from taking big steps forward with this ministry. But the time is now. God has been preparing us for this mission and we are thrilled to see what he does with it this next year. We are excited to encourage parents in this awesome responsibility we’ve been given to teach our kids to know and follow Jesus. We don’t know every part of the journey ahead of us. We have no illusions that it will be easy. But, we do have truth that will hold us fast. God is still God. He is good. He loved us enough to give his Son in our place. He will guide us forward. He is that strong cable and harness holding us through all of it.
So let the adventure begin. To God be the Glory!