The breaths come hard and labored, like I’m trying to suck air through a straw with someone sitting on my chest. I’ve learned to recognize this as my body’s way of letting me know that all is not well inside. I have stress-induced asthma and no matter how much I may think I’m at peace, my labored breathing tells me otherwise.
It all comes down to trust.
When my life is frenetic, when the large questions loom along the horizon, where do I turn for assurance and answers? Do I turn to myself, feebly mustering all the know-how and strength I have in the hopes of figuring out the unknown without screwing up my future too much? Or do I choose to collapse into the arms of the One who is the beginning and the end, who knows my future before a day of my past had happened?
In high school, we did an obstacle course each summer at camp. Nothing more than ropes and old tires that created challenges meant to create teamwork and build relationships. The Trust Fall was a wooden platform built six feet above the ground. While everyone else stood at the bottom, with arms interlocked, one brave person climbed to the top of that rickety set of boards and then……fell backwards. Fell without rope, without backup, without an alternative other than to trust their cabin mates and the strength of their outstretched arms.
The more you let yourself fall freely, the more easily you landed. The more tense, fearful and unwilling to trust, the more difficult it was to be caught in the arms below. And the more likely you would face some sort of injury.
With each labored breath, I’m forced to see that my fear, my unwillingness to let go and jump is keeping me from enjoying the free fall into the loving arms waiting to catch me. Arms that have never once failed, arms that are stronger to hold my life than I could ever be on my own.
Arms that have promised that they will always be there to catch.
When the world says it is all up to me, Jesus says that He will never leave or forsake.
When the world says that I must succeed in order to be loved, He gently reminds me that He has loved me with an everlasting love.
And when the reality of my circumstances threatens to choke the very breath out of my lungs, He is there promising that His burden is easy and His yoke is light.
All I need to do is jump.