Leap of Faith

My thought from my morning time with God today, and, taking a picture of a squirrel.

An everyday activity if you are a squirrel. Loping up a tree, running across branches as thin as a wire and sailing into the next tree just for the fun of it is a normal leap of faith; if you are a squirrel.

However

If you are a regular human person, that leap of squirrel faith will land you on the ground hurting in places you didn’t know about. I know about this. As a child we siblings, and coerced friends, would climb trees and bend them down to the ground. That got old so the next idea was to see how far through the forest we could go before touching the ground. Leaping does not work, in fact it hurts. Thankfully the idea died before one of us, you know, used dads insurance again.

Let’s say that this kind of leap of faith for a squirrel is ridiculously small. Now, let’s call it small and name it “Mustard Seed Faith”, (because it’s small). Humanities greatest trapeze artists can’t do what a squirrel can do. This is often where I go wrong. I ask the wrong questions and often side-step the important.

I know that God wants his followers to live by faith, walk by faith and emulate great people of faith. But, all too often I skip to the part what faith is supposed to look like (You know…all those fruits of the spirit, miracles and fearless leadership God has called me to.) and somehow think I can shortcut the process of becoming one who intimately knows the heart of God. In my head I know that quality and quantity time spent on one’s knees and in the word results in a small seed. There is a long ways to go being the tree by streams of water with deep roots and lots of fruit.

All these words and a picture just to say that leaps of faith in the spiritual are but a reflection and outworking of who we have become in Christ.

God has called us to become way more than we are. God has called to to more faith than we have. Our part is to being one positioned to hear HIs voice clearly and respond to what he asks. Those around will see you taking a leap of faith and you will land it. Like the squirrel, this is who you, in Christ, have become.

My personal prayer question: Do I have even a tiny leap of faith in me Lord?”

Gary

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. ” Hebrews 11:6

“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6

26 thoughts on “Leap of Faith

  1. “God has called us to become way more than we are.” I love this statement, Gary! I also appreciate that you prequalify it with the fact that extensive “faith-in-training” will be necessary. I’ve trained for and completed two marathons. Therefore, I can confidently say that running 26.2 miles without adequate training is unlikely. You point, as I understand it: leaping faith doesn’t come out of the blue; it is a result of a growing relationship with God. Your thoughts are compelling, as always. God Bless.

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    1. You get it David. Nope, Leaping faith really doesn’t…however, I didn’t get to the part that God does feel free to give faith freely, at will. It’s not earned…that’s the other side of the coin.
      I am in awe of you marathon runners. I don’t have it in me to go after that kind of training…fishing yes, running, no. But, you sure get some good insights into “running the race”

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  2. Interesting reflection Gary. I had a similar personal prayer question a few days ago( minus the squirrel )- my question was – Do I truly believe the written Word of God enough to take a “leap of faith” when the time comes?

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    1. It’s such a good question Crissy. I’m quite sure the Holy Spirit leads us to those questions and grooms us for obedience so the leap is both fearful and natural. I have always wanted to say to Peter…What kind of question is that? Where did that come from? What did you eat last?? (question about getting out of the boat in a storm so bad they thought they might die). Of course he landed and then fell.

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  3. So many thought-provoking lessons in this post. Love the photo of your furry friend. We grow in faith each day, wandering deeper and deeper into the woods of life. I believe our hearts do take liitle leaps day in and day out…we are always trying to move forward. It is a continuous work in progress. It is good that our Heavenly Father knows our hearts so well…and He knows the terrain of all the woodland places where we roam. (Listening is an art form as we pray to God. We do leap to conclusions when we are hopping from tree to tree…it is so easy to do!)

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    1. It is a very good post with a message for all of us. Especially in the times we are currently living through, we can get so ‘scattered’…jumping from one thing to the next. More than ever, some time spent in nature apart from the world, talking to God, is so important. On another tangent, squirrels are such focused creatures when they are on a mission. Gathering food, they are incredibly focused! 🙂 We learn from God’s creatures…focus, attention, fortitude, discipline. This discipline allows us to take leaps in faith day by day.

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      1. Such a good point Linda…My brother (the phd psychologist) just yesterday was telling how a squirrel ran around the tree branches up high until it found one pointing directly at the bird feeder. It backed off and ran off the end of the branch landing directly on the squirrel-proof bird feeder. His take: “Squirrels know quantum physics”

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    1. I’ve only scratched the surface Eva, but the principle of getting a taste of intimacy with the savior translates to more. Sometimes I do feel like the pastor who was given a pin for his humility, then they took it away because he wore it.
      Knowing a small portion of God’s closeness and his workings in our lives is like standing on the an itty bitty edge of eternity.

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  4. The leaps of faith for one who worries about everything are hard to do, but for certain the part that is easy comes when thanking God when the leap comes back with the prize. I think I was born worrying. I’m sure I’d be a basket case if I didn’t know the salvation of Jesus and His love. Thanks Gary for this wonderful post. I really enjoyed it. Speaking of squirrels, one of our little guys got run over this morning and is laying in the street. Makes me sad.

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    1. Thanks Mary. Everyone’s leap-ability does seem to be different. Sorry about your street squirrel. This morning I had a laugh as a bunch of big gray squirrels were running on top of the snow patches toward some bare patches as the snow melted…I was just imagining one of them saying out loud to himself “I just remembered where I buried a bunch of nuts”

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  5. Isn’t it amazing how squirrels can remember almost a year later where they buried a goodie!!! My husband and I have lunch often at a park near our house. The squirrels there are fascinating. I marvel at God’s creation and how even the tiniest of them are programed to take care of themselves and their offsprings with ways that are almost human.

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  6. I too marvel at what squirrels can do. How do they know, for example, that their ability to jump will be sufficient for the wide gaps they sometimes leap across? Praise God we don’t have to worry about gap-widths in our faith walk with God. With Him, all things/leaps (that he’s ordained) are possible. How amazing is that? Lord, keep me attentive, keep me strong! And thank you, Gary!

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  7. They are amazing. It also seems they see the treetops as highways, streets, allies and dead ends. If danger appears they have tree top escape routes memorized. It’s a good thing God does not say to us “just try and see if you make it”

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  8. Thanks Gary. Sounds like you guys knew how to have fun, but sadly, we have our limits. God has indeed called us to more faith than we have. Imagine the little pint-sized slugger going yard for the first time. In his backyard. And dreaming of one day doing it in the bigs. And he never let’s go of his dream and actually gets there one day and goes yard in the big yard.

    Our faith must grow from the starter kit God gives us at the beginning. AND THAT INVOLVES RISK. It has been my experience that risk is very rewarding if applied properly. I do believe Gary, that the Lord calls us to risk. Impossible challenges must involve risk though I think more people are concerned about saving face rather than limbs since most people know they’re not monkeys and are more afraid of failure than proving otherwise. But I don’t fault you for thinking you could be a monkey. Or Tarzan. It’s one thing to be a kid and climb trees (great fun) but another to jump from tree to tree which is, of course, technically possible in the thickest of thickets, I guess. We know as kids that there is something in us to test the limits while also honoring a level of safety but not so much that we have no fun.

    So we must win the little faith battles to grow bigger faith for bigger battles toward believing God for the really truly impossible stuff which He was always doing and expects us to as well. I confess I’ve never tried, for example, to walk on water and that’s on me, but Coach says I can. I think what we need, especially as men, is to have the right kind of coaches and mentors to train us in the impossible instead of so many wimpy pulpiteers (among the few great ones) who do the opposite. It is my belief that most of those guys would find out how spiritually wimpy they are if they attempted their pulpiteering out in the natural world if you get my drift. That’s where the eighteen wheels meet the asphalt. Not so easy there. Can be quite unforgiving. (Reminds me of Charlie Daniels a long time ago: “Jesus walked on the water, and I know that it’s true. But sometimes I think that preacher man ought to do a little walking too…)

    So I applaud your youthful exploits including the cliff jumping/diving you mentioned in the past. (My first foray into such happened in my relative youth. There was a great place for it out in the country, one of those great round holes with VERY deep water made by a small river off a cliff. They said it was 40-45 feet. As we know, it always looks a LOT higher from on high. Me and a buddy went up there. We peered over the edge. We were only going to jump and while I had many high jumps and splash downs I had never attempted anything that high. There was no middling lesson. While trying to gather the courage these three guys came up behind us. They were politely waiting. We told them to go ahead. Each one in turn did a pretty much perfect swan dive. We looked at each other like a couple of sissies and wasted no time in getting air. A lot of it. And then we did it again. And again.

    Faith works that way. It is like that. Maybe that’s why they call it a leap. The Lord showed us how it is done. He is our great Coach and Mentor training us for the impossible.

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  9. Gary this post definitely calls for some time of prayerful reflection. We have a very healthy crop of squirrels around our place so I appreciate that when I hear an see them leaping through our tree line I will think “leap of faith.”

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