Perhaps you know people who are into extreme sports. They look for ways to get their adrenalin pumping by attempting physical feats that average people consider dangerous and risky. One such activity is strapping on parachutes and jumping off of very high cliffs to fall freely for as long as they dare before pulling the ripcords and landing safely on the ground below. Often the jumpers can’t see the bottom as they approach the edge of the escarpment, but they throw themselves into flight anyway because they are confident of success. They know that to experience the thrill of jumping off a cliff and being able to tell about it after, they actually have to take the plunge.

Life can sometimes challenge us to consider taking extreme measures in order to fix a problem. In his book Inside Out, Dr. Larry Crabb tells the true story of a woman who confronted the pain and dysfunction she experienced from being sexually and emotionally abused earlier in her life. Through godly counsel, Dr. Crabb helped her to take responsibility not for her abuser’s sins, but for her own need to move towards freedom and wholeness. This required her to confront the unforgiving attitudes in her own heart and trust God for the grace and strength she would need to learn to live in freedom with confidence and hope. Faced with the opportunity to break out of the darkness of her damaged life and step into the light of healing and renewal, she compared the steps that she needed to take to forgive and release the offenses against her to jumping over a cliff unable to see the bottom, hoping that God would be there to catch her. She chose to take the plunge and found that the parachute of God’s grace and strength provided to her was more than enough to land her firmly and safely in His freedom from fear and hopelessness.

Now that’s extreme! Experiencing God’s abundant provision like that is never possible by merely thinking about it. You have to trust that the Lord is going to be true to His word and take the plunge into what you believe God is asking you to do. It’s then that you get to tell about what He has done on your behalf. It has been that way in my life many times. I have had faith activated in me when I made a decision to trust God in an unusual way. Things would begin to fall into place and confirmations would unfold that never would have if I had not taken the initial step of faith.

You can be faced with opportunities to succeed in God’s best that look more like challenges without answers. Moving forward by faith will require a new way of thinking, based on putting your trust in God. At those strategic times it can feel a lot like you are standing on the edge of a cliff wondering if you will land safely below when you jump. However, it’s when you take the plunge that you experience God’s covering and provision in a deeper dimension than if you hadn’t. And then you get to tell others about how God really does deliver on his promises.

I want to leave a scripture with you that you can hold onto as your parachute when you are confronting a challenge that requires throwing yourself into territory that’s intimidating and new to you. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

Aren’t you glad that God knows what He’s doing with you? Are you encouraged by the fact that he has everything you need ready to give you right when you need it? So don’t be timid or afraid to move ahead in God’s next step for your life as he directs you. He’s got some amazing things for you to yet experience as you put your trust in him. Cliff-jumping anyone?