When I was a small child, we would go to the beach often. I was holding on to a raft, talking with an older woman. We had been chatting for quite some time but I hadn’t realized we had been drifting. I was called back to shore, and realizing it would take too long to swim back on the raft, I decided to walk back through the water pulling the raft behind me. But there was something I didn’t know…
The woman was treading water. I thought she was standing. I took a leap of faith and I nearly drowned. That event has had a major influence in regard to how I view the ocean. It made me untrusting of the sea. That doesn’t mean that I stopped going to the beach, or that I wouldn’t get in the water. I still loved boat rides and splashing along the shore. However, I learned the hard way to respect the dangers that ocean presents. I take precautions when I am in the ocean, such as checking the rip current reports or the weather before we head out. I no longer assume that it’s safe to let go of the raft.
Recently I was posed with the question:
How do I begin to trust God again, when I took that leap of faith and it failed?
What I have learned since the day, is that the ocean is not the one who was untrustworthy. The ocean is, as the ocean is. It doesn’t really change, the dangers are always present. I was untrustworthy with the ocean. I made assumptions. I didn’t look at the environment around me and make a educated decision. I didn’t ask the woman next to me how deep the water was. I just jumped, recklessly into the water.
God is trustworthy. He is unchanging, all knowing, and perfection. He is worthy of our trust. If a leap of faith fails, I believe it is the person who was untrustworthy. A leap of faith is never done recklessly.
If God puts it on your heart to walk across the street and hand a stranger $100 bill, you should take the leap of faith. Do what God is asking of you, despite not knowing the person or the reason why. However, that doesn’t mean you cross the street without looking both ways. That would be reckless, you could get hit by a car.
Leaps of faith are not reckless, they are bold. When God asks us to take a leap of faith, it is going to be a bold step and potentially will make us feel uncomfortable. Yet, we don’t make that leap blindly. We must get the full picture of what that means, so that we make no assumptions and we are not caught off guard.
Occasionally, it may be God’s intention that your leap fails, but understand that failure is only YOUR perspective. From God’s perspective there was a purpose and a lesson in that failure for you. It may be a stepping stone to get you prepared for a bigger task ahead, to point you in the right direction, or help refine your call. If it is a true God ordained failure, that leap will be redeemed somewhere. It won’t happen just to make you miserable, lose everything, and be a total waste. It will serve a purpose and you will see it eventually.
If you take a leap of faith, and it turns into a fall… unredeemable, no purpose, no lesson… you took a reckless leap. How was it reckless?
- Your Timing, Not His – There are times when we can see the destination God is taking us to, we recognize it as a leap of faith, but we want it so badly NOW that we rush God’s blessing. We try to do it in our own timing and not His. Then it doesn’t work out, and our faith is tested. But it wasn’t God who was untrustworthy, it was us by not trusting in His timing.
- Your Strength, Not His – When a person has a goal or a dream, they are by nature do-ers. They want to make it happen, and they will put in a LOT of hard work and effort into it. They will continue to dump time, energy, and money into whatever it is. Then it fails. But it wasn’t God who was untrustworthy, it was us by not trusting in His provision.
- Your Desires, Not His Calling – Sometimes a leap of faith, is really a fall into our own desires. We want something so badly (even godly things) to happen, that we justify it in our minds as what God wants. We jump right into the deep end without affirmation , and then everything falls apart. But, it wasn’t God who was untrustworthy, it was us by not trusting His counsel.
If you examine the scriptures, there is not a single piece of evidence that God is reckless with His people. Bold? Yes. Asking them to do the impossible? Absolutely!
God always goes ahead, preparing the way.
God always is with them, providing for their needs.
God always comes behind, protecting and securing their journey.
Every single time that calamity comes upon His people, it is NOT because God failed them. It is a result of His people losing faith and trust in Him, trying to do things in their own way, in their own timing, and making reckless decisions. They took their eyes off of God, and looked only at themselves.
A God ordained leap of faith will never fail in HIS purposes, in HIS strength, and in HIS timing.
If you truly believe you took a leap of faith, that failed, I would challenge you to carefully and prayerfully examine that leap.
- Was this God’s desire for me? Or my own?
- Did I rush God’s blessing? Was I impatient?
- Did I try to make it happen on my own? Did I not trust?
- Was I discontent during the process?
- Did I make reckless decisions? Did I seek God’s counsel?
- Were there any affirmations outside of myself to confirm this calling?
- Was I faithful in prayer and obedient to His word, during the process?
- Did I doubt God’s protection and provision during the journey?
- Is there a lesson I was being taught that I might have missed?
Pray that God would reveal the truths to you about that leap that became a fall. As we begin to see truth, our trust is restored in God. We also begin to recognize how untrustworthy we truly are when left to our own devices, and learn the hard lesson to fully rely on God.
Peter took a leap of faith, when he stepped out of the boat. Not because of what he thought HE could do, but because he believed Jesus. He didn’t trust his own ability, He trusted Jesus’ power. It was only when he looked at himself that he began to doubt, and started to sink.
You may think that your Leap of Faith turned into a Fall. But, God’s work in you may not be completed yet. He’s reaching out his hand to you, to pull you back up onto your feet, and step out onto the waters of trust.