Once long ago, I got up at the crack of dawn to drive west of Yosemite National Park and climb into an inflated raft on Tuolume River. It was my first whitewater rafting trip.
We went through a few rapids, but nothing too exciting — until our Teva-clad guide pulled to a stop at a tall, jagged ledge. As the people got out to climb up and dive off, I sat glued to my seat. I eyed the slippery slabs of wet rock and imagined my arms and legs flailing down to an embarrassing belly flop.
After watching a string of people jump off without sustaining any concussions, I decided to go for it.
I stood over the edge, trying to act cool. I was scared.
I was afraid to look silly and awkward. But, I longed to jump in.
My No Into God’s Yes
Sometimes we survive the choppy waters of life and suddenly find ourselves at the edge of opportunity.
We may have given up hope of anything new, but it comes — a spark of desire, a new confidence or change in direction.
As alluring as moving forward is, I’m never short on hesitations.
But for each no, God offers me yes.
1. It’s too late.
Maybe to you, but not to me. Step out by faith and you’ll see.
“Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” ~ After Jesus turned water into wine. John 2:1-11
2. What if it ends up being a disaster (again)?
If you lean into me, making your attempt, I will be your greatest reward.
“Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
3. It’s a dumb idea.
I am your Heavenly Daddy. I have intimate knowledge of all your wonderful ideas, just like the stars in the sky that I name.
“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.” Psalm 147:4
4. Nothing’s going to change.
Your efforts might seem ordinary, but remember I can turn water into wine.
“Jesus said — ‘Fill the jars with water…Now draw some out.’ …the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine.” John 2:7-9
5. What if it’s all in vain?
I will love you through it all. You can never outgive my love.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3
As I weigh the pros and cons of moving forward, I realize my limits.
To jump into the life God calls us to live, we need to enter deeper into God’s love.
Dare To Jump In
God’s presented me with an opportunity to pick up a dream I thought was dead years ago.
Those same inner giants that got the best of me before? They’re still lumbering. I know the risks.
How do I know I won’t get burned again?
But there is the one major difference.
I’ve seen God’s love go deeper than fears coming true.
He will catch me if I fall.
He loved me when I was broken; He put joy back in my bones.
He can hold me in the secret place, where I am fully known.
God keeps His promises.
That’s why I dare to jump in.
I turn to find Jesus next to me, His hand clasp firmly in mine.
Just take the next step, Bonnie — I am with you.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
No matter how young or old we are, God calls us to walk forward on our pilgrimage in faith with Him.
What’s a girl to do? Do I jump in or do I stay safe and dry?
Enveloped in 90 degree heat, I let out a yelp and pushed myself off the ledge. The bite of cool canyon water plunged me into a splash of bubbles. My heart pounding and arms stretching to swim towards the sky, I sputter up.
I probably looked like a girl who took a wrong step somewhere and fell into the water. It didn’t matter anymore.
I got out water drenched and euphoric. Feeling alive, I hiked back up for another turn.
What new opportunity is God leading you to explore?
How is God encouraging you to turn your no into a yes?
By Bonnie Gray, the Faith Barista serving up shots of faith for everyday life.