This past week I have had several reminders of a trip I took seven years ago. It was a dream come true for me. I spent two months in Africa visiting South Africa, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and Tanzania. In Zimbabwe it was a delight to have volunteered at Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage. Towards the end of my time there I went with several other volunteers to see the amazing and beautiful Victoria Falls. While there I decided to join a few of them in a venture I had never done in my life — Zip Line.
This zip line experience stretched across the Zambezi Gorge. Was I afraid? YES! I went ahead and got kitted up in a secure harness. Then, with some trepidation, but so wanting to at the same time, I made my way to the launch point. The guide gave instructions. “Put one hand here, the other there, say ‘let’s go,’ and I send you on your way.” I was repeating the instructions to myself, but out loud, to make certain I understood. The guide didn’t know I was just encouraging myself. When I said, “let’s go,” he pushed me on my way! In seconds I was zooming across the Gorge, I managed to look down. No kidding, a crocodile was gliding across the Zambezi River. Away I went. Was I still afraid? NO! Wonderfully and amazingly, too, the fear completely left. I was having an exhilarating experience. I actually zip lined across several times. Indescribable fun!
It was taking a bit of a risk to let myself be harnessed up. It was taking a risk to climb up to the launch point. It was taking more risk to go again and again, but the joy and fun was such that I never regretted the risk.
In our spiritual world it’s a risk to trust Jesus. We have to declare belief that what He said is true. He is the Son of God. He died blameless to pay the price for our sins. He does give us eternal life with Him where no death or sorrow exist. We must believe and accept this in order to become a child of God. The promise is given in Hebrews 11:6, “It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.” This verse is personally special to me, because it was this verse that led me to receive Jesus as my own personal Savior 53 years ago. I’m so thankful I took that risk, that I harnessed myself to His Word, that I climbed up to the launch point of His offer of salvation, that I said the words, “I believe. Please come into my life and forgive my sins. Thank you for dying for me.”
When I proclaimed those words, meaning them with all my heart, He sent me soaring into the unknown — but never alone. I was harnessed to His love, never to be severed. He would send me on perilous missions where crocodiles were nearby, ready to devour, but I was still harnessed to His love. He would “never leave me or forsake me” (Hebrews 13:5). I was harnessed to His love. Therefore, I have always known, to this very day, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me” (Hebrews 5:6)? Death is not an enemy to the Child of God. Jesus conquered death on the cross when He rose again. To rise again victorious is a promise to us, too. It’s a risk to choose to soar into the unknown with Jesus, but the journey is full of inner peace and indescribable joy, and the final destination is literally out of this world.
If you are not yet a child of God, I hope you will take that risk. You may see crocodiles, but you will always be safe because you’ll be harnessed in the grip of His love.