Jumping the chasm.

When people put their trust in God in radical ways, and we hear the stories of how He provided at the last minute, the exact thing, just enough or massively more than enough, it evokes a response in us for MORE. MORE of the radical, MORE faith, MORE trust, MORE of Him. Something stirs up our hearts and we cry out, “He is so faithful! I know it!” In the afterglow of this emotion, leaps of faith — literal jumps from the edge of a cliff, plummeting abyss below, with too much distance to cover and little chance of getting even a fingertip on the other side — cease to be so frightening. They begin, in fact, to look exciting and encouraging. We make plans to pursue our own trust fall with God. We listen to our hearts and our dreams, resounding with the beats of His own exotic heart, and decide to do it. We will put our trust in God in a radical way.

Then we are living what was once just a listening exercise for us. We are the people in the story, and when the last minute arrives, where we have need of an exact thing, and we don’t know if He will provide massively more or just enough or even not at all, leaps of faith start to feel frightening again. We wonder what we are doing wrong that it doesn’t feel like a big adventure to fall backward into the arms of God. In the moments that God provides, even if His provision is radically different from what we expected, and we wonder if it could even be called ‘provision,’ we tell our story. We see the seeds of excitement in the eyes of our listeners, see that they want to go on an adventure with God. Should we warn them? This adventure doesn’t feel like we thought it would feel — there is much more fear and anxiety, much more taking stock of our hearts, much more battling of lies and searching for truths, much more setting aside the old wineskins of our immature beliefs, than we were ever prepared for. But we see their sparkling eyes and know, with a spiritual sense, that they couldn’t hear our warnings even if we yelled them through a loudspeaker, complete with sirens and flashing lights. For they’ve been caught, hook-line-and-sinker, by the God of the eleventh hour. They want MORE. They want more seeing, more understanding, and more experiences of this crazy Being who loves with such abandon and requires nothing less than our bodies AND our souls. And oh, will they get it! When that dark night comes and they are wondering why this big adventure doesn’t feel very adventurous, the same Spirit will whisper to them what He has whispered to us: “Perfect love casts out fear, and there is so much you are afraid of. So you need a big love, and there is really only one place that is found — in the deep chasm after jumping, in the moment when you see with perfect clarity that you will not make it to the other side and need to be caught. That is where perfect love is found. So that is where I will take you.”

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