I was fifteen feet up, clinging to a measly nub of fake-rock, when I first looked down. A little higher, and I my arms began to tremble.
It wasn’t that I was necessarily that tired yet, or scared of heights. But there’s a sense of vulnerability that comes with rock climbing; something that I, a novice, hadn’t experienced before. Even with the safety of a harness, it’s a jarring ascension to say the least.
So there I was, dangling from the wall. And after a few more maneuvers, I had officially “summitted.” But my sense of accomplishment quickly turned to fear. I cautiously turned to peer down at my friends– who, sensing my panic, began shouting, “Just let go!”
I hung there for a few moments, contemplating such an action. Because, as rational as it was to let go of the rock and trust the harness, letting go is not something I’m very good at.
Could I really just let go?
Let go of anxiety? Control? Let go of the need to please others, or the fear of not being loved? The risk often seems too big. I’ve found myself, even this week, unwittingly hanging from the precipice of my own limitations. Too scared to trust.
Because, let’s be honest, trusting is really hard. It exposes us. And when we’re exposed, we risk getting hurt.
So why risk it? Well, I think there are two key reasons. The first applies a little less to rock climbing and more to life:
We were created to adventure
Yes, there is inherent danger when we explore, endeavor, love, and leave. But coupled with that risk is the ability to enjoy this life that God has given us, and the people that intersect with it. I’m not saying we should be reckless. Rather, I believe we are called to wisely and intrepidly enjoy the fullness of God with every breath we have. And that, my friend, involves risk.
But here’s the thing: The risks we take aren’t unfounded. This call to live boldly is by a trust in the One who reigns over all. We can risk it because:
The One who calls us is faithful
The Apostle Paul wrote those words (1 Thess. 5:24) in between two of his many imprisonments, and I can’t help but admire the weight behind such words. Paul truly knew what it was like to “let go of the wall” and live boldly, and to suffer as a result. He was shackled, abandoned, injured, and likely: faced with incredible discouragement.
So why did he bother? Because Paul trusted that the Lord would not only be with him, but would also preserve him unto death. And if God was guiding him and sustaining him, what was there to be afraid of (Phil. 1:21)?
Oh to live with such faith! I’ll be honest: I’m not there yet. But friend, let’s strive toward it. There is no chain that is stronger than the strength of our Lord; no wound that is deeper than His love.
So would you let go with me? For real. Let’s abandon the notion of “trust” as a noun and live it like a verb. He is faithful, He is good, and He is with us~ This week, I’m committing to a few tangible steps of surrendered control–trusting Him in areas related to my people-pleasing mentality and to running for His glory rather than anxiety.
Whatever you feel God tugging on your heart to surrender, would you do it? You’re not climbing on our own. He’s got you.