Do you remember your first plane ride? I was terrified on mine.
I recall how the engines rumbled as the plane began accelerating on the runway. I remember feeling a mix of anticipation and dread in my stomach as it took off into the air.
To me, there’s something gut-wrenching about being thrust into the sky. You’re no longer on the ground, and you’re not in control throughout take-off.
But for all that … I still choose to fly because it bring me to places I wouldn’t otherwise be able to reach. There’s something about that which I think is very similar to the Christian life.
I come from a non-Christian family. To even quietly say grace before I eat at the dinner table would warrant a hard knock on the head and a scolding from my grandmother.
That environment made me wonder what would happen if I spoke about God.
So I tend to hesitate when I need to put my faith out there, like when I have to pray for a pre-believing person: What if the prayer doesn’t work? What would they think of God?
Often, I don’t know if my friend will be healed, or if she will say “yes” to my invitation. Grounded in my earthly understanding of how the world works, I doubt and don’t take the risk of reaching out.
So, I frequently find myself at a place where I’m relying on my own judgment instead of trusting God.
But we cannot please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6).
Think about the 40 years of wilderness-wandering the Israelites spent after they went ahead with their human reasoning. God had promised to give them the land of Canaan, but they hesitated to take possession of it when they saw the giants.
Instead of facing their enemies head-on as commanded, they retreated – even though they had seen what God could do when He split the Red Sea.
Falling back on what they believed was the safe option – instead of trusting God – the Israelites ended up taking a 40-year-long detour for an 11-day journey.
There’s a life of adventure waiting for us if we can trust God for every Red Sea in our lives.
To be a Christian is to let our old selves die. It is giving God full control over our lives. Full control. It is to constantly find ourselves at a precipice of faith where we will not survive the jump unless God shows up.
What would life look like if we had that desperate dependency on Him for impossible things? I can’t give you an exact picture but I know God would be pleased.
When was the last time we were in a desperate situation that required our utter dependence on God? It should be every day.
There’s a scene in the movie Superman Returns that really stuck with me: Two pilots had lost control of a plane which was nosediving toward a packed stadium.
But just as it was about to kill everyone, Superman saves the day. He manages to catch and halt the plane mid-air. Then he enters the plane and quips to its shocked passengers: “Well, I hope this experience hasn’t put anyone off flight. Statistically speaking, it’s still the safest way to travel.”
When you take a leap of faith, it’s precisely what it means.
It’s not free of risk – it requires faith! But there’s a life of adventure waiting for us if we can trust God for every Red Sea in our lives.
Certainly there will be times when the journey with God takes a bump or two, but through it all, we have a solid hope in Jesus that it’s “still the safest way to travel.”
God has never failed us. He never will.