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FIRST-PERSON: A leap of faith

OPELIKA, Ala. (BP)–Nausea swelled in my gut as I watched her tiny legs climb the 150-foot staircase. Why anyone would want to experience falling through the sky only to be yanked back up into the air by a bungee cord — just before splattering all over the concrete — is beyond me. Everyone enjoys a good thrill ride from time to time, but bungee jumping, in my opinion, is taking it a bit too far. Especially when the thrill-seeker is my eight-year-old daughter, Alex.

“Are you sure you want to do this, honey?” the concerned man in the ticket booth asked. “We do have go-carts and bumper boats that someone your age might find more enjoyable.”

With chin up, hands planted firmly on her hips, and a stubborn look of determination that I recognized all too well, my petite, blond fireball assured the man that she was brave enough to jump.

“Well, if you get scared and change your mind when you get to the top, you can always climb back down,” the gentleman urged as he handed her the ticket.

“Don’t worry, I won’t,” Alex shot back.

And somehow, I knew she wouldn’t.

“Have you ever lost anyone?” my husband asked the man.

“Not yet, but we’ve only been opened for three weeks,” the man replied with a grin.

That was reassuring.

Reaching the top, Alex didn’t even hesitate. As her little body leaped from the platform and she plummeted from the night sky with screams of excitement, I thought, “Lord, what’s it going to take to thrill her when she’s 16?” Then it hit me that thrill-seeking definitely can be used for God’s glory. “Father, may she find this much delight in taking leaps of faith that please You,” I whispered.

Like Alex, Peter had a longing for adventure. When the disciples’ boat was being tossed about by threatening winds, they became alarmed. Adding to the anxiety of an already frightening situation, their fear level peaked when they saw a man walking on water toward the boat. The man was Jesus. That’s when Peter seized the opportunity for an ultimate thrill. Peter requested that Jesus call him to walk on water. Peter’s desire to walk on water in spite of his fear was based not only on his passion for adventure, but his passion to obey God in an adventurous way.

When Jesus told Peter to come, he leapt from the boat without hesitating. Matthew 14:29-31 records, “… Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately, Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?'”

Some might say that Peter failed in his faith. However, our ideas of success and failure may not be the same as Jesus’. After all, Jesus favored the mite-giving widow, but not the religious elite. Peter may have failed in the eyes of the public, but he was the only one who experienced walking on water. He was also the only one who felt Jesus lift him up.

Peter took a risk. He took a leap of faith. As a result he experienced a grand adventure with Jesus. The other disciples missed out on that adventure. They didn’t learn the valuable lesson of trusting Jesus that Peter learned that day because they weren’t willing to take the leap.
Ginger Plowman, author “Don’t Make Me Count to Three,” is the founder of Preparing the Way Ministries, for which she speaks at women’s events, parenting conferences, and homeschool conventions across the country. You can visit her website at www.gingerplowman.com.

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  • Ginger Plowman