You could hear the repetition of the waves slapping against the rocky cliff side, consistent enough to know it would happen again, but rocky enough to not know when. Walking toward the sound there was a audience of spectators with cameras or drinks outlining the edge of the cliff and down the stairway to the landing where cement had been laid over the island as a pathway leading up to the overlook allowing anyone to see far enough into the horizon where the Caribbean Sea and Sky meet. I stood at this edge with my toes gripping the platform, eyes peering into the clear blue sea imitating the blues in the sky except for the rocks and reef under the water. The Jamaican coast was as beautiful and as melodic as the music playing behind me at Rick’s Cafe. There were a few strangers standing behind waiting their turn, with a few friends, camera ready, along the sides of the jagged cliff. All waiting for me to jump, to take a leap of faith.
Looking at the Leap
Just like they coach you to do when swimming in lakes or at the beach, I looked before I leaped. It may be great for lake safety, but when talking yourself into violating every survival instinct in your body, not such a good idea. In the leap of faith, it’s not the fear of falling, it’s not the contact with the water, or what may happen after. It’s the leap that scares us most. Even though I saw multiple people jump, and the Cafe’s photographs attested that many had before, there was still the familiar pit of fear raising in my stomach. The fear seemed irrational, it didn’t seem like that big a deal, but it was still there. The same situations seem to play out in our lives when it comes to following God.
Fighting to Believe
It’s always a fight to live what we believe in the face of what we fear. The unknown. But our unknown is intimately understood and planned, by our God that knows all. The Creator of the universe that has made Himself known through His Word. The Bible comforts me that I am not the only one to go through any of the struggles I face (1 Corinthians 10:13), there are others that have moved through the same situations that can help me ( 2 Corinthians 1:3-7), and my Savior himself knows my situation intimately (Hebrews 4:15). Not only that, but God has given us ample examples of his providence and goodness, along with past experiences. Hebrews 11 chronicles all the miraculous victories God has brought about, even if those victories were realized after the lives of God’s people had been laid down only to pick them up again. How many times has God proven that he is trustworthy? It’s amazing how many of the Psalms continue to remind the readers of who God is, and what He has done in the past. People have jumped the cliff of faith when it comes to continuing school, turning down job promotions, starting ministries, or losing their life for the sake of the faith. This is a fight that we should constantly be prepared and preparing to fight. Don’t be caught off guard. Reminding yourself of God’s truth, to better walk according to His word, and trust His heart is not for the weak in faith. Instead it is the consistent strengthening of our faith that God has allowed to keep our hold on Him tight.
How many times have we stood on the edge of expectation only to allow doubt to dim the fire of faith, preventing us from being washed over in the waves of worship? It’s ripping off a band-aid that’s black around the edges, with the skin underneath three shades lighter than the rest of your body, all the while itching and getting caught on clothes. You know it needs to come off, but that split second of this is going to hurt prolongs the peel you know is best. Our inner battle with trusting God is all too similar. We let times of turbulence transform truth into a teetering tower of Jenga, making our moves the reason we stay standing or topple over. This shouldn’t be the case for Christians. The truth should be transparent. The lens through which we see all of our troubles, hopes, and dreams, with the assurances of sovereign safety wherever we land.
The leap of faith is a constant in the Christian life. But we know that the jump is already justified, the leap has already landed, and the fall has already proven fruitful. You’ve jumped before when you first believed in Christ as an atonement for your sin. Go higher, jump faster, and leap into the providence of the Lord. Teaching everyone that Hebrews 11:1 is why we continue to take the leap of faith as a lifestyle. "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (ESV emphasis added)