In honor of Leap Year, I thought it only fitting to focus on “Leap” – Dictionary: leap of faith – The act or an instance of believing or trusting in something intangible or incapable of being proved.
As I look back at my life, I find that I am overly cautious. I am not a “leaper” but rather a realistic planner. I have to rationalize everything out and rarely act spontaneously. In fact there are times I talk myself out of “adventures” because of NOT believing and trusting in myself. The ironic thing is I generally am an optimist (except for the past few days) and see the ½ full glass. But, this often only applies in my believing in OTHER people, not necessarily in myself. For instance, if someone told me they were going to run a marathon, I would cheer them on and sincerely believe in them, but would never believe I would be capable of doing that. My husband is quite the opposite than me. He is the firefighter who will go into a burning building, would jump with a bungee cord, propel a mountain, etc. He believes in his abilities and in his fellow firefighters. He also believes that Christ will keep him safe.
I have watched some everyday heroes take a leap of faith. This week two friends from church will be going on a mission trip (Prayers to Mike and Luke)- they are taking a leap of faith! I have friends who remain with unfaithful spouses because they believe in their marriage – they are taking a leap of faith! I have friends who have gone back to college later in life and changed their careers – taking a leap of faith!
I think of Bible times and a few stories come to mind * Matthew 9 – the woman who was bleeding for twelve years and took a leap of faith to touch the garment of Christ – Christ honored her leap and was healed * John 6 – the boy who took a leap of faith and gave his 5 loaves and 2 fishes – Christ took those and fed thousands * I Samuel 17 – David and Goliath story. David took a leap of faith and a few stones and killed Goliath – Christ saw his heart and went into battle with him
What is the difference between these everyday heroes / stories of the Bible and me? They took the LEAP of FAITH because they KNEW God would honor the leap. What would I do if I was in their shoes?
- The woman who touched Christ garment and was healed – my likely response would be I don’t want to bother Him with my problems, would hate to fight the crowds to get to Him, believe I can get better on my own, or would believe others deserve/need the healing more than me.
- The 5 loaves and 2 fishes – my likely response would be to give it, but my mind would likely be filled with Lord, why do you want my measly loaves and fishes when you have so many to feed. I would worry that my fish and loaves would not taste the best, so maybe never even offer them.
- David – my likely response would be I am too weak, I am just a boy, The armor doesn’t fit me well. I am sure there is someone more qualified.
But in all of these situations above, not only do I doubt MY abilities – I am harnessing / hindering the ability of Christ to do GREAT things through me. What if the woman felt how I did – she would NOT have been healed. What if the little boy felt as I did – multitudes may have gone hungry (not just for food but spiritually as Christ ministered to them – they would have heard). What if David felt as I did ? The battle would have continued, more lives lost, etc… None of the people called were extraordinary people — they were every day people — just like me. If He can empower them, He can empower me.
There are little leaps that I can take – simple things like rides at KennyWood this summer (take on a few roller coasters or other rides with my husband). But what about the BIG LEAPS of FAITH – I think I haven’t taken them because I haven’t looked for them and maybe they have been there all along. Or maybe I haven’t taken them because I ignored Christ’s little nudge. But as a result, like the woman, I may have missed out on a blessing for myself. Like David and the boy with fish/loaves, I may have cost others a blessing.
I know I need to slow down and listen – open my heart – seize opportunities. I need to PREPARE to TAKE A LEAP of FAITH in myself – believe that I am capable. But more importantly, I need to be open and PREPARE to TAKE a LEAP of FAITH for Christ – is it feeding the thousands or battling a giant? The other day when I was in my pit, I didn’t take the leap of faith that Christ could help. I dwelled on my normal “ I can do this myself!” Had I listened closer, He was “Let Go Sheri – take a LEAP, I am here to catch you. I can help you with your problems.” Instead I got in the pit and stayed there longer than I needed too! I often over estimate or under estimate MY ability, when I should be basing more decisions on HIS ability.
For me one LEAP of FAITH has been this blog – believing in my ability to write and share my heart. But, I think I put God’s abilities inside “my limits” instead of placing myself inside Christ’s limits – and with Christ ALL things are possible! Luke 1:37 “For nothing will be impossible with God.” – Luke 1:37
On your mark – get set – LEAP!!!!
My Grandma Frazee’s favorite: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” – Phillipians 4:13