Stepping Out

Stepping Out

When I was in college one of the things I did every summer was being a camp counselor. At camp, we always had access to a rope’s course. One of the obstacles set up was a log that went between two trees. This log happened to be twenty-five feet in the air. When you think about that distance on the ground it might not be a big deal, but when you are up on the log with only a rope on your back the story changes.

            I convinced a camper that trusted me a lot to climb up on the log with the rope attached to the back of his harness. We called this skydiving because it feels very similar. He got to the top of the tree and walked out upon the log. At this point there is no going back. You have to jump! The only way is down. The camper FROZE. I mean more frozen than Frosty the Snowman in the middle of winter. Absolutely stuck in place.

            I could have just left him up there and tied the top off to a tree, but that’s not right. A few of us spent over thirty minutes talking to the camper and convincing him to finally make that jump. He had to trust that the rope would hold him and that we wouldn’t let him hit the ground. I was trusting the rest of the crew to keep my feet on the ground when the rope caught the camper. Stepping out, the camper finally made the move and enjoyed the experience of Ropes Course Skydiving. It was exhilarating to watch!

            This reminds me of a story found in John 6:16-21. In this story the disciples went down to the sea after a long day and got in a boat headed to Capernaum. The sea became rough due to a storm and it was dark. When they had gotten about three to four miles out, Jesus is seen walking on the water across the sea. The disciples were frightened. I don’t blame them either. But that isn’t the whole story.

            Look in Matthew 14:22-33. Here we see even more detail. Peter calls out to the Lord, “Lord if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.’ (Matthew 14:28) Of course it is the Lord out on the water so Peter is called out. Peter gets out of the boat and starts walking on the water. He eventually realizes that there was a strong wind and he becomes afraid. Jesus reaches out, takes hold of Peter, and says, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matt 14:31). Peter just had to walk out on the water and have faith that what Jesus said would be what actually happened. He was successful until he doubted Jesus.

            Maybe this morning you need to make a jump. What is holding you back? Maybe Jesus is calling you to do something? Why aren’t you? Maybe you see a need to help out in a ministry of the church but aren’t sure if you can do it. Have the faith to know that Jesus will take care of you. Maybe we are trying to decide to take that step in committing our lives to Jesus? It’s a difficult step sometimes, but it is worth it. We have to take the opportunity to step out on the waters even when everyone else says it can’t be done. When we put our faith in Jesus, anything is possible. What step are you going to take this week?

Be Blessed,
Mark Casella