Navigating the Uncertain Places
When you jump, you often don’t know how long the journey down is for, you don’t how you will land and you don’t know where exactly you might land.
If you’re reading this blog for the first time I suggest you refer to the previous post - Moving On: Broken Expectations. The jumping analogy will make sense.
The unknown is one of the scariest places you can be physically and mentally. You don’t know what lies ahead and this can often lead to anxiety and panic.
During my trip to Albania, I went paragliding off a really high mountain. I was extremely terrified and didn’t think I was going to be able to do it; until, the instructor I was going to be strapped to, showed up. He was calm and collected, he knew what he was doing and he had a soft voice that calmed me. He made me laugh and told me why I should not be afraid, he reassured me by telling me that he was going to be holding me so I had nothing to be scared of. He strapped me tight to the gear and prepped me up for the run off the mountain, giving me one instruction only: don’t stop running.
You see this instruction was aimed at preventing any possible accident as we jumped off the mountain because it was the alignment of our speed in running, that will lift us off the mountain ensuring a safe take off.
AND SO, I RAN AND I JUMPED. TILL DATE, I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING SO BEAUTIFUL.
This reminds me of the walk we have with God. He plays the role of the instructor. He is whispering in our ears, jump, don’t be afraid because I am jumping with you. He straps us up tight in the gear( the amour of God) listed by Paul in Ephesians 6:10-18, and prepares us with his word for the jump.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
As we jumped that day, the wind was what made the journey smooth and with the help of the instructor, guided the direction in which we were heading. The Holy Spirit is our wind, he is whispering in our ears which way to go with the help of the father our instructor, guiding us through the jump. Proverbs 20:24-
“The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?”
An interesting thing that happened was, at some point during the journey down I was allowed to stir the gear, and I did. For a while it was alright but I soon begun to panic and the ride became bumpy as a result. This for me represents how we try and navigate through things by ourselves, being our own instructors , for a while we think we can handle it but, because we do not know the journey as we haven’t been on it before, we start to panic and make wrong decisions which results in the journey being harder than it ought to be. Dear Reader, God doesn’t want that for you.
This long analogy is all to say that you can’t handle the jump by yourself. The uncertainties of how long the jump is for, how you will land and where you will land is enough to make you panic; you need to rely on your instructor. Jesus Christ, God and the Holy Spirit manifest in one, is our instructor. They guide us through the journey, they teach us how to arrive at our destination and they tell us when we have indeed reached our destination. God knows the way, he is the one that lead us here and so he alone is the one that can guide us forward. Psalm 19:7-9
“The revelation of God is whole
and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
and easy on the eyes.
God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
down to the nth degree.”
Dear reader, I want to encourage you to lean on him and press into his word as you are navigating this journey of yours. Leaning in looks different for each and every one of you readers. It’s unique to your journey and your destination, no matter how similar, no two journeys are the same. This is unique. Quit thinking you know how to navigate just because its similar to something you’ve been through before or because it’s similar to something someone you know has been through. Yes you can learn from your past journeys and those around you but as God said in Isaiah 43:16-20 ” Behold he is doing a new thing”. It is not the same so lean in and let his instructions be your guide.
“This is what God says,
the God who builds a road right through the ocean,
who carves a path through pounding waves,
The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—
they lie down and then can’t get up;
they’re snuffed out like so many candles:
“Forget about what’s happened;
don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.
It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?
There it is! I’m making a road through the desert,
rivers in the badlands.”
There were however two parts to that analogy I gave above. The first part speaks to those who need to lean on God to guide them but the second speaks to those who need to keep running and not give up.Running in the analogy referred to running to take off however as the journey drew to an end, the instructor signalled me to start running once more in order to ensure a smooth landing.
Don’t we sometimes in life, find ourselves there ? After we’ve jumped off and into the journey, believing the promises God has for us, we’ve also leaned on him and trusted him through the journey, as it draws to an end and quite frankly we have no energy left, God instructs us to start running again.
Often times as we draw closer to our destination, our promise land, our land with milk and honey, the fight and the resistance is at its fiercest. As we draw to the end of that particular journey we feel tired and worn out, we can see the promise land right before our eyes and even though we haven’t stepped into it yet, all we can think of is resting in that place that is soon to be.
But the journey isn’t over yet.
You can’t stop quite yet, now you have to start running once more because the closer you are to the promise land, the harder the enemy tries to get you and derail you from your track.
But, you see whilst I was running, the instructor was running with me with all the gear on his back. God cannot run on your behalf if he doesn’t first see you run. Your running is symbolic of your faith in his promises. He is the one carrying the weight, it’s his speed that ultimately lifted you up as you begun the journey but most importantly it’s his speed at the end that will bring you to your destination safely. It’s not that he needs you to run for the battle to be won, we fight from victory NOT for victory, however, in the Kingdom of God faith is the key that unlocks all doors and your running is the manifestation of your faith. As you manifest your faith, God unlocks the gate of your promise land.
In my previous post, Moving On: Broken Expectations, I encouraged you to jump. Today as we navigate through uncertainties, I encourage you to lean on God as you go through the journey and not stop running till you reach your destination, the promise land. Hebrews 12:1 - 3
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”