Jump

I don’t like to be afraid.

I avoid like the plague any situations that provoke fear.

In order to do bold things for God we must walk through our fear and into our obedience, otherwise we will never experience the grand adventures God has for us. We just won’t. You know that moment you are scared half to death by a shadow? Then what seemed scary actually ends up being just a mirage of fear and makes you laugh so hard you cry and all at once you feel completely alive. Yeah, we won’t experience that kind of alive if we aren’t willing to let a bit of fear taunt us, so we have the occasion to test our brave.

Without a fear taunting you, you don’t have the challenge of having to be brave. Don’t let fear scare you, just be brave.

You’ll garner more treasures, and greater respect, as you are willing to operate past your fears to see God move in mighty ways.

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all of his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Oh, fear the Lord, you saints, for those who fear him have no lack!” {Psalm 34:4-9}

Those that have followed my writing or teaching for any length of time know just how much I love WWII history. Band of Brothers is a favorite mini-series of our family. As each episode opens the scenes begin with interviews of the actual men that jumped as paratroopers during WWII. There is a single statement that one man makes that has stuck with me over and over again in my life. “Afraid? We were all afraid. Some just knew how to operate past their fears and jump.”

Don’t wait until fear leaves. Fear doesn’t get the hint. You’re gonna have to push past it and jump scared.

When I was in college I worked at a summer camp for kids and had 12 eight-year-olds in my cabin for a month. It was a blast getting to know those girls and I loved watching God push them to try knew and sometimes scary things while building their courage. However, there was one time they got to watch me and my co-counselor be crazy brave and bluff jump into the lake.

We had taken our campers over to a great part of the lake to jump off these low bluffs. Probably lower than what a low dive at your local community pool would be. We spend the day having so much fun and everyone was totally comfortable with the jumps, the water, and the amusement of complete sun drenched comfort. It was easy. Then some of the counselors that knew more about the area we were in decided while all the overnight trip counselors were getting the campers situated into the boats to head back to the campsite they would take a group up to the counselor bluffs. Now, I’ve slept a few nights since then, so when I remember it in my mind it seems like it could have been 100 foot cliff, however I know I will make you feel much better when I tell you it was no more than a 50 foot bluff jump. Don’t you feel better. Have mercy.

Freaked out.

So everyone is going to jump this counselor bluff and I’m in my mind thinking, “You fools are crazy!”
Then I hear the chanting below. All our darling campers contentedly sitting in boats floating on the crystal still lake are chanting our names, “Cari! Be brave and jump! Cari! Cari! Cari!”

Yeah, let me just vomit on this evergreen tree real quick.

I strongly consider and nearly attempt a jump a good several times, but then back out. I mean I’m not some sort of go-pro camera wearing, thrill seeking, bluff jumping junkie!?! Both I and my co-counselor have the same experience and decide its craziness at its height and WE have negotiated ourselves away from the bluff and are heading back down to the safe zone when out of nowhere my co-counselor decides our WE agreement is no more and she gets all awesome on me, turns around mid-sentence SHE JUMPS!!! Splash. Cheers.

Well. Now that’s just really great. She pulled he ultimate scoreboard by leaving me alone at the top of a 50 ft. bluff. Obviously, I’m left with no alternative. Now I have to jump.

So I do what any reasonable person would do I turn the opposite way, give myself a quick locker room pep talk and make a fast turn around and run with gusto and JUMP!

Because that’s the way you can vault across the threshold of fear….you gotta do it with gusto. You gotta mean to jump.

I can still feel my heart leap as I cleared the overhang of rocks, a squall of wind whip through my sun bleached hair, the break of the water drench me as I collided with the lake, and the warm affection of the sun as I blew back up above the surface. I laughed and screamed and felt every bit alive as you could feel.

God has beautiful adventures ahead for you. Break those internal agreements you have with what’s comfortable. Disrupt all the ways you sabotage your momentum. Decide that Jesus is on a roll with your life, obliterate obstructions and jump. Don’t be afraid if things seem like a “no” right now, a sure “yes” is on its way. Don’t be afraid if life seems lonely, fellowship is coming. Don’t be afraid if obedience doesn’t seem to be rewarded, your blessed life is unfolding before your eyes…stay faithful. Don’t be afraid if loads of people comfortably sitting in a boat below with little to risk are shouting at you to jump – jump with gusto and show ‘em how to live for the good of God’s people and the Glory of His Name.

More will jump past their fears to collide with the freedom found in Jesus if you’ll be willing to jump past yours.
Ready. Set. Jump….

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