An Oldie but a Goodie - Tethered with Christ

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Today's post is one I wrote a couple of years ago, but its message is something that I'm focusing on today. Sometimes I need a reminder of things I've already learned, and God is gracious.  He never tires of continuing to teach us His truths!

Several years ago, during a weekend conference in the beautiful Sierra Mountains outside of Yosemite National Park, I surprised myself by signing up for the high ropes course. I had never done anything remotely like that since the tree climbing days of my childhood. But, I figured that being secured in the safety harness would remove my fear once I was above the ground. So, I boldly joined the other women already on their way to test their courage.

There were several different segments of the course beginning with a climbing wall. I made it to the top and back down without incident. My confidence grew as I traversed the ropes without faltering. But then…I got to the “Poles”. At first glance, they
seemed innocent enough – three straight, telephone-like poles standing side by side reaching 35 feet up into the air. The guide strapped me in the harness, gave me instructions and up I went, hand over hand until I reached the top. The idea was that once the climber reached the top of the pole, she was to somehow maneuver herself so she was standing on top of it. Well, that is easier said than done! However, after some creative stretching, twisting and reaching, I managed to hoist myself to the “summit”.

Standing tall, I proudly surveyed the surrounding area. The trees looked beautiful from this vantage point and the cloudless sky seemed almost close enough to touch. I was pleased with my accomplishment. But then, after hearing the cheers from my friends on the ground, I made a mistake and looked down. Anxiety immediately hit me as the realization of my situation grew…My next step was to jump off! The guide encouraged me to simply take a breath, leap out into the air and grab a trapeze that was there for just that purpose. Fear gripped me in a way I had never experienced and I froze. My stomach churned and my arms hung heavily and motionless at my sides. My head told me that it was safe to jump, but my body wouldn't obey. I knew that the harness and its tether would keep me from crashing to the ground 35 feet below, but in my fear, I couldn't move.

How often do we experience similar situations in our walk with Christ? As we come to know Him, our excitement and enthusiasm grows. The newness of our understanding of His love for us fills us with joy and our thankfulness for His gift of salvation makes our hearts long to serve Him. But, often, there are barriers that hold us back. We may think we aren't talented enough, smart enough or young enough. We may compare ourselves to others we see already serving Him and think, “What do I have to offer when that person is so much more equipped than I am?” Sometimes the memory of our life before we were Christians or our failures since hinders us. What is the common thread? Fear. Fear of rejection, fear of failure, and fear of man. But, we need to remember that when God is with us, we can put aside our fears. “The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6). God is faithful and we can trust Him to help us as we seek to follow Him.

God created us to serve Him. We may not even be aware of how or where He wants to use us, but when we step out in faith, offering ourselves to Him, He will hold us up. When we look to Christ for our strength, He is our harness, keeping us securely in His grip. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). 

And what happened regarding my predicament on top of the 35 foot pole? Rather than staying where I was, frozen in my fear and embarrassment, I took that leap of faith! Instead of depending on my own strength and my own abilities, I relied on the tether which was holding me fast. As I leapt out into the air, the wind rushing past my face, exhilaration hit me as the meaning behind that exercise was made clear. I discovered in that moment, that freedom from fear comes when we place our trust in the Lord.

Leaping in faith,

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14 comments

  1. Yes, I get this stepping out in faith learning to trust in the Protector. It gets easier with practice and certainly with a personal history of falling into Him time and time again. But always a good reminder because the hesitancy before the leap will never completely go away. Blessings and thanks for sharing! Linking after you at Lyli's. Love, Rachael @ Inking the Heart

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  2. I am so thankful that He is my tether. -- I find that after I leap, it's never as bad as I thought it was going to be. It's just that first step that is so hard....

    Thanks for sharing your story with Thought-Provoking Thursday! I am so encouraged. :)

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  3. I know what you mean, Lyli! The first step is definitely the hardest! When I do step out, with God by my side, I often wonder what I was so scared for in the first place! He gives such courage!

    Blessings, Joan

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  4. Thanks for coming over, Rachael! Yes, "practice makes perfect", right? The more we trust Him, the more our faith in Him grows. God has proved this over and over with me, too!


    Blessing, Joan

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  5. I love this post. I am so glad you posted this oldie but goodie as it is right on time for me today as I strive to take the steps needed!! Thank you and many blessings to you.
    xoxox
    Stacey

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  6. Hi Stacey! I'm so glad this was an encouragement for you today! It's something that I needed to read over again myself! I'm so thankful that God is always there, holding tightly on to us!


    Blessings, Joan

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  7. Brave lady! I'm not sure I could have done it. I love your analogy . . . and pray daily to be able to take that leap of faith no matter where the Lord leads. Just praying it's not from a 35 foot pole. ;-)

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  8. Lol! I was scared, that's for sure! But, once I stepped out into the air there was no turning back and, the feeling of being held by the tether was wonderful! I'm so thankful that in life, God is always there, keeping us in His strong grip!


    Blessings, Joan

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  9. You're braver than I am, but this gives me hope. I can do all things through Christ!


    Joining you from The Weekend Brew, where we are neighbors.

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  10. Hi Dayle! I didn't feel brave...especially when I was at the top! But, God supplies all the courage we need to face any challenge before us! Thanks for dropping by from Barbie's today!

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  11. Oh, I'm so relying on that tether with you, Joan! This is a beautiful post, and I'm so glad you linked up with Recommendation Saturday! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

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  12. And we can count on our ultimate Tether to be strong!! Blessings to you, Shelly!

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  13. Freedom from fear - I am learning to live there - trying to liberate those areas that aren't! You are definitely a brave, spirited woman!!!!

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  14. LOL! Well, I have my moments! But, I need to continually place my trust in God or I'm a big chicken! Blessings to you!

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