White-Knuckling It

Have you ever had a moment that spoke deeply to you?  It may be a simple moment.  While doing something yourself or observing something or someone else.  A teachable moment.  I had one such moment this morning.

I went for an early morning bike ride with my boys.  My oldest son led us to some jumps in the desert.  He has ridden these jumps before, but he is my cautious one.  So, after riding over the jumps a couple times he stopped, got off his bike and began to dig on one of the jumps.  His younger brother eagerly joined him, declaring – “Mama I am a worker!”

I rode over to see what they were doing. They were digging out three stones. He said they were messing up the jump. Once removed, he stomped down the dirt and declared it safe.

He asked me to film him, then he rode his bike out of sight.   Further than he had ever done before.  Clearly, he was going for speed.

Then I heard him yell – “3! 2! 1!” As he came into sight he yelled, and kept yelling, the whole time – before he hit each jump, on the jumps and beyond.  I just had to laugh at the hilarity of the situation, but it also made me well up with pride. He went for it. He was doing something that scared him.  And.  He.  Did.  It.

As a parent watching a child tackle their fear is such an uplifting moment, but the profoundness of the situation is what struck me. He did it even though it scared him.  Even though he yelled the entire time.  He pushed himself outside of his comfort zone and guess what? He did it again. And again.

He yelled like crazy the first time.  But each subsequent time he yelled a little less as he gained confidence. Isn’t that true of us too? We avoid things that scare us and push us, but every now and then we face our fears.  We make a brave choice and just go for it. Or we get a push or a shove and are forced into confronting our fears.

We may white-knuckle it and scream the entire time, but we go for it. And when we do, we gain confidence. We realize we can do hard things. Things we never imagined possible.

It’s good to try things that stretch and scare us.  To step outside our comfort zone.  The stretching and pushing grow us.  We realize we are capable of more than we imagined.

Being a Christian requires that we get uncomfortable at times.  To step out in faith to do things that may scare us.  I have heard it said many times, God is more concerned about our character than our comfort. There have been many instances where I wished the opposite were true, but I trust God knows what’s best and he is a good God. He sees the big picture and he knows where he is taking us and who we are becoming.

No doubt many of us are feeling stretched and pushed outside our comfort zone these days. But maybe this stretching and pushing is to grow us. To deepen and anchor our faith. To draw us into new areas of life and discover strength we didn’t know we had. To push us beyond our preconceived and self-imposed limitations and trust that with God all things are possible (Matt 19:26).  We can do all things, even hard things, through Christ who is our strength (Philippians 4:13).  

So whatever we are facing today, let’s be brave.  Let’s step out in faith and trust God.  Even if we have to remove obstacles, white-knuckle it, and scream the entire time – just go for it.  Step out in freedom and confidence knowing that with God all things are possible, even the hard things.