I clung to the rock, fingers aching, legs trembling. Sweat trickled into my eyes and down my back.
“I can’t do this.”
“Yes, you can,” came the calm, reassuring voice of my husband. “Put your left foot a little higher; there’s a good foothold just past that ridge.”
“I can’t reach that far. I can’t see it. I’m scared.”
“Trust me, Babe. I can see it. And even if you miss it, I won’t let you fall.”
I looked down and saw his steady brown eyes locked on me. The rope attached to the harness I wore was firmly in his hands. His gloves hid his wedding band, but I knew it was there: a reminder that I chose to trust him enough to spend the rest of my life with him. I stretched out for the foothold again.
Rock climbing was never a dream of mine. Far from it, as I’ve always had a fear of heights. I also assumed that since I can’t do a chin-up and have unreliable shoulders, I didn’t have the fitness level required for something so strenuous. However, my husband Evan was sure I could do it, and he convinced me to try. He’s quite a good climber, so I trusted his opinion over mine.
“Trepidation” would be a good word to describe my feelings as I harnessed up, buckled my helmet, and gazed up at the high rock wall in front of me. “Terrified” would be a better word for how I felt fifteen minutes later.
The parallels to my spiritual “climb” were clear. So often I feel like I can’t go on. I’m too tired, too scared, and I can’t even see where to put my foot next. But just like Evan had a perfect view of the entire route from his vantage point, God can see exactly where I’m going and the best way to get me there. And He’s “holding the rope” — even if I make a misstep, it won’t be the end of me! And like Evan, He is the “expert” and knows what I’m capable of doing.
All of this, both in my spiritual life and my climb with Evan, is based on one thing: love. I trust Evan because I know he loves me and would never take a chance with my life: I’m too precious to him. How much more does God love me, He Who laid down His life to save me. And not because I loved Him, too — I was His enemy. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). That’s love I can trust in rocky places.
Did I ever make it to the top? I did! More coaching was involved, as well as literal blood, sweat, and tears, but the feeling of exhilaration when I finally made it was worth every ounce of energy expended.
Choosing to keep climbing in “blind faith” not only gave me confidence (climbing is now something I really enjoy), but also cemented my trust in my husband. I can say the same about every time I’ve stepped out in faith to follow God’s call. Faith builds faith. If He calls you, go for the top!
Photo Credit: David Hensler (yes, that’s me on the rocks!)