When You're Not Strong Enough to Climb
"The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety." Psalm 18:2
If I look down, I’ll fall!
And then…my kids will tumble off.
If we survive, we’re doomed! I didn’t pack any snacks or hand sanitizer!
Welcome to me--unhinged in a National Park. Fear of heights is a relatively new "blessing." Something short circuited when Aaron and I were newlyweds. On top of the Sacred Heart church in Paris, a strong wind blew. I stopped. Dropped. And rolled into the fetal position.
We kept the shovel he used to scrape me off the floor as a souvenir.
Ever since, I imagine myself plunging to my death at the slightest height. My sweet husband thinks I’ve lost my mind. I don’t even allow the kids to walk next to the railing on the second floor at the mall.
It freaks me out.
What if they decide to climb over and jump to Santa?!
It could happen.
If anyone fell off this cliff in Sequoia, Santa wouldn’t be there to catch us.
I decided the best way to prevent a tragedy, was to glue my face, arms, legs and stomach to the cold stone; like a flattened fruit roll up. This offered room for other hikers to push past.
Yes, it was a good idea
"Mommy! Aren’t you going to the top with us?"
"Nah…Mommy is going to smell this rock for a bit."
People were staring. Many stopped. "Do you need a doctor? A tissue? Essential oil?"
I don’t reminisce over this snapshot often. However, I’m a visual learner. I’ve been asking God to teach me by showing me. During worship on Sunday, God brought this distressed picture of me to the forefront of my mind.
There I was, clinging to the side of the cliff. When I looked down, I was seized with fear. When I looked up, the clouds were crushing me. But, just like in Sequoia, if I kept my face towards the rock, I knew I would be OK.
He was clear.
"This is what you look like, Jenna. You’re panicking. Stop looking away from the rock."
We’re living through a season of great unknown in our adoption journey. I don’t know how to stop shifting my gaze in every direction. I’m looking for answers.
Will this break me, Lord?
Will any good come out of this?
God is the fire by night, the cloud by day. But he is always the rock.
"...there is no Rock like our God." 1 Samuel 2:2
King David was protected by the rock,
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge." 2 Samuel 22:2-3
The Israelites were pursued by the rock, “…for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:1-4)
God’s people were given sweet provision from the rock,
“He nourished them with honey from the rock, and with oil from the flinty crag” Deuteronomy 32:13
There’s no shame in taking a season to stop and grasp to the rock…the rock that is Christ.
We were made to climb with Jesus.
Honestly, there are days when all I can do is cling to Him.
God knows. He gives grace if we’re not ready to forge to the top. But, it’s those pesky what ifs that pry our fingers from our stronghold. We glance down and imagine our broken bodies at the bottom--even more--our shattered expectations of what God should’ve done.
I have a choice. I’m learning to train my thoughts to press back into the solid rock. My arms wrapped tight around Jesus.
Yes. This is a good idea.
I may look like a crazy-lady-pancake fastened to my faith. I’m not ashamed.
God answered my question. Can any good come from this?
God’s pursuing love...
God’s sweet provision.
This time, I’m not gripped by fear, but faithfulness. I’ll be brave enough to climb again soon.
For now, I’m just going to hang on.
by Jenna Masters