Years ago, my family and I went on a picnic. We drove an hour to a place called Big Rocks Park. The park was next to a shallow river, but what made the park unique were the huge boulders that surrounded the landscape.
Soon after we arrived, we decided to go exploring. We started by climbing on top of the “big rocks”. We quickly noticed that we could jump from rock to rock, never touching the ground. It was only about four feet to the ground, but in my son’s mind, it was 400 feet and there was hot lava all over the ground! Danger!
As we leapt from rock to rock, I was amazed at my son’s courage. Even my wife wouldn’t jump over some of the huge gaps. (She had to trample through hot lava to keep up with us.)
After hours of jumping, Caleb successfully made all of the courageous leaps. Except for one. It was towards the end, and it was quite a large leap. I was surprised when he took two steps back and went for it.
As he landed on the side of the rock, I knew he wasn’t going to make it. His sandals began to slip, and he started to slide down. I leapt over him and quickly grabbed his hands and pulled him to safety. He caught his breath and finished our last few leaps back to home base.
I share this story because it reminds me of what this battle with fear is like. As we leap from situation to situation, there are times we feel like we’ll drop hundreds of feet into hot, burning lava. You see, fear has a way of exaggerating things. What may seem like a four-hundred-foot drop into hot lava may only be four-foot drop to solid ground.
So, most of us never jump–we never get in the car, we never go to the grocery store, we never get married, we never have children or we never take on that new job. The risk seems more than we can handle, because fear has a way of blowing everything out of proportion.
As my son sprang from rock to rock, I was there with him the whole time. I watched him, protected him and instructed him with each leap. In the same way, your heavenly Father will be with you to watch over you, protect you and instruct you with each leap of your life. If I–an earthly father–can take care of my son, how much more can God–a heavenly Father–take care of you?
And, if you do begin to fall, cry out to your Father. Just as I went before Caleb and lifted him out of danger, so God will go before you, and lift you up out any danger. He cares for you. He loves you more than you know. Through Christ, you can come to him for strength and peace and courage.
“If you make the LORD your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your dwelling. For he orders his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone” (Psalms 91:9-12).
Prayer: Father, give me the strength and courage to leap from boulder to boulder, situation to situation. I trust you to go before me and protect me, and pull me to safety when I fall.