I want life to be as stable as a math problem. Two plus two always equals four. It will equal four today, tomorrow and into the tomorrows years from now.
Math equations don’t experience breakups and letdowns. They don’t get cancer. Or have their best friend get transferred and move across the country. They don’t have affairs or unmatched affections. They are highly predictable. Therefore, they are easy to trust.
But life doesn’t add up. People don’t add up. And in the rawest moments of honest hurting, God doesn’t add up. All of which makes us hold our trust ever so close to our chests until it becomes more tied to our fears than to our faith.
That’s where I was when Bob and Maria stuck out their hands to shake mine and invite me to their mountain home. I needed God to untangle some of my trust issues.
They were having a retreat at their mountain home with an eclectic group of some of their favorite people, and somehow I got on that list.
It was all going well until someone handed me a helmet. We were about to do a ropes course.
And not just any old ropes course. The grand dismount of this course was a leap from a platform to catch a bar suspended several feet away. I started looking around for the emergency exit, because there was no way on God’s green earth they were going to get me to jump.
And then Bob appeared. With his enormous smile, grandfather-gray hair and arms magnetic with the purest grace, he drew me over to the edge.
“Lysa, this isn’t about finishing the ropes course. This is about conquering your hesitancy, resistance and fear. These ropes holding you will only let you slightly drop if you miss the bar. Then they will catch, and you absolutely will not fall,” he whispered as if he had a window view inside of my soul.
I looked at the space between the edge of the platform and the bar. I saw death. Bob saw life.
What a visual for the word trust.
What we see will violate what we know unless what we know dictates what we see.
Bob knew the ropes would hold me. And he knew that my ability to survive this jump had absolutely nothing to do with my efforts. I was held safe standing on the platform. I would be held safe in midair. And I would absolutely be safe, whether or not I caught the bar.
Bob whispered, “You are absolutely loved. Now, when you’re ready, jump.”
I can’t tell you how long I stood there. It felt like days and milliseconds all at the same time. The world swirled and tilted and shifted without me so much as twitching a muscle fiber. I forgot to breathe. I couldn’t even blink.
I would imagine you’ve been in situations that have felt quite paralyzing as well. And it’s in these times I have to tie my heart to soul-steadying verses like Hebrews 13:5b-6: “For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.’ So we can say with confidence, ‘The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?’”.
Just like those ropes wrapped around and around my body holding me to the course from beginning to end, God’s Word can wrap our souls with steady assurance.
The peace of our souls does not have to rise and fall with unpredictable people or situations. Our feelings will shift, of course. People do affect us. But the peace of our souls is tethered to all that God is. And though we can’t predict His specific plans, the fact that God will work everything together for good is a completely predictable promise.
Bob whispered one final thing: “It’s already done.”
I don’t know exactly what he meant, but I know what my soul heard. God has already caught me. His goodness and love have pursued me and won me. I just need to jump into that reality. And without any other conscious thought, my soul kicked in where my brain could not. My feet exploded off the platform and into midair.
I touched the bar, but I did not catch it. I didn’t need to. Because trust caught me.
Lord, I can’t thank You enough for the promise that I can trust You at all times. Even though people may fail me … even though others may abandon me … You never will. I’m choosing to let that truth steady my heart today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
This blog post was taken from my new book Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely. You can find out more and order your copy by clicking here.