Monthly Archives: August 2014

Leap of faith

Faith is a gift; that much I’ve emphasized on previous posts. I was telling my small sister the other day, that to believe in God is like to stand on the steepest cliff, stretch arms out wide and take that deep plunge, believing He will catch you.

leap of faith
That is what faith is; putting one’s life in God’s hands. And you know what the best part is? Once you take that plunge, life gets better. Not because there won’t be problems, but because there’s that comforting thought at the back of one’s head that there’s someone greater than us looking out for you.

It’s like sleeping soundly at night because one is assured the security guards manning the compound will keep all danger at bay. That’s how it feels to believe in God. One doesn’t sleep soundly because there is no danger, but because they know there’s someone protecting them.

About two years ago I was watching this series, MIOBI (make it or break it), where Emily Kmetko (Chelsea Hobbs) wasn’t performing as good as expected. She was a talented gymnast, but each time she had to do some stunt, she just couldn’t deliver.

Her family, unlike her team mates’ was struggling financially. Their situation made it particularly difficult for her to become an elite gymnast. The problems she and her family had gone through made her so guarded, so much so that her coach, Sasha Belov (Neil Jackson) had difficulties getting through to her because she had trust issues.

One night while she was in the gym practising, her coach walked in and asked her to trust him. He understood her inability to trust him wasn’t a deliberate act of defiance, but a rampart she had erected over time to protect herself from getting hurt; because when one has been disappointed too many times before, they get to a point where they find it necessary to shield themselves from more pain.

Sasha asked Emily to let herself fall from the beam because he would catch her. He promised to catch her. As I watched her battling with her inner demons-to let go or not-I felt one required to have so much trust in someone to actually let themselves fall. She was supposed to move from not trusting him to believing he was going to catch her.

Sasha knew Emily had difficulties trusting him, but he knew if they were to continue working together successfully, she needed to trust him. He needed her to take a leap of faith. Personally, I have some trust issues too… no, not some; I have major trust issues. I have been hurt and deceived by people I really trusted and eventually, that left me too sceptical.

I understood Emily; the conflicting emotions she was going through, because I knew one has to have so much faith in someone to be able to get to a point where they just let themselves fall believing that person will catch them.

What if he wasn’t careful enough and she slipped off his hands and hit the ground hard, back first? I wondered; or what if the instant he had her in his arms, he felt she was heavier than he had anticipated and reflexively dropped her? It wouldn’t be like he dropped her willingly; it would be because of unforeseen incidents.

It was Emily trying to fight past her fear, yet there I was, questioning Sasha’s ability too. Eventually, she let go, letting herself fall from the beam and into his arms. He caught her. Following that mighty leap of faith, their relationship became stronger and she did what he asked her to, even when she wasn’t sure she wanted to do it.

She trusted him; and therefore believed he wouldn’t ask her to do anything that would hurt her, even when what he asked to do felt like a herculean task. She understood he only had her best interests at heart.

Emily’s leap of faith is a vital step someone has to take to be able to have a personal relationship with God. Sometimes what He requires us to do feels so challenging, but we need to trust He only wishes us well. He wouldn’t want us to suffer for naught.

God might require us to undertake a very challenging thing, but it is all for our good. He wants each and every one of us to have a close relation with Him; and just like Sasha, He would love it if we could take that mighty leap of faith, without any fear; believing He will catch us.

It takes so much strength to let go, but once we do it, we enjoy unlimited benefits. Even when we find ourselves going through difficult challenges, the comforting thought that He is with us makes those burdens feel lighter.

What would you ask for?

ask and you shall receive

If God appeared to you today and told you He would grant you your heart’s desires; whatever you wished for, what would you ask for?

Would you ask Him to punish your foes, or would you ask Him to grant you power and wealth? Would your wish serve only you or others?

The following story from the Bible tells us of a great man, who had an encounter with God and no; he didn’t ask God to grant him some personal desires; he asked for something greater; something that had the Lord so impressed that instead of granting him what he asked for, He rewarded him with more.

“What would you like me to give you?” The Lord asked him.

Solomon answered, “You always showed great love for my father David, your servant, and he was good, loyal and honest in his relations with you. And you have continued to show him your great and constant love by giving him a son, who today rules in his place.

O Lord God, you have let me succeed my father as king, even though I am very young and don’t know how to rule. Here I am among the people you have chosen to be your own, a people who are so many that they cannot be counted.

So give me the wisdom I need to rule your people with justice and to know the difference between good and evil. Otherwise, how would I ever be able to rule this great people of yours?”

The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this, and so He said to him, “Because you asked for the wisdom to rule justly, instead of a long life for yourself or riches or the death of your enemies, I will do what you have asked.

I will give you more wisdom and understanding than anyone has ever had before or will ever have again. I will also give you what you have not asked for; all your life you will have wealth and honour, more than that of any other king.

And if you obey me and keep my laws and commands, as your father David did, I will give you a long life.” (1 kings3:5-14).

King Solomon asked God for wisdom. What would you ask for? When we ask God for something, sometimes He denies us that which we ask for, when He feels our desires are selfish. This story made me reflect on the things I pray for; most of my prayers are about my success; my well-being; and I believe it is so with most of us.

Currently there are so many wrong things happening globally: the war between Israel and Gaza, the Ebola outbreak that has claimed so many lives in some African nations; the Malaysian airlines flight MH370 that is still missing (I hate to imagine what families and loved ones of that plane’s passengers and crew are going through)… The list is endless. One needn’t look far to find something that needs God’s intervention.

How many of us would remember to ask God to intervene in these situations? Sometimes when I pray, especially when I have some really pressing matters, I get this weird feeling that if I prayed for so many people/things, my personal needs might get overshadowed so God might overlook them and answer the others.

That’s a wrong mentality.

If Solomon’s story is anything to go by, God loves it when one can put aside their personal petitions and pray for others. In doing so, one doesn’t just help others, but also wins God’s favour. I’m imagining how happy He would be if one replied, “I would love to know you more Lord; to see things the way you want me to,” or “help me love my enemies.”

How pleased, He would be.

God, as I said in a previous post, doesn’t make dramatic appearances like He used to in the past. That, however, doesn’t mean He doesn’t visit us. He is an omnipresent God, so He is ever present with us. When we pray, let’s remember the homeless; those going through various forms of abuse and haven’t found a way out.

kidnapped nigerian school girls

Let’s also remember the Nigerian school girls who were kidnapped by the insurgent group Boko Haram; and for their families, who must be going through hell; and for the two hundred and ninety eight members aboard the Malaysian jetliner MH17 who all perished when the plane was shot down; and those on the Algerian plane who also died. It must be really hard on their families.

There are so many people who need our intercession. Even in the midst of our personal tribulations, we should remember others, and in return, God will bless us abundantly.