"On belay!"

" The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8

Several years ago, I attended a retreat at the top of Sugar Mountain in North Carolina. On the last day, we went zip-lining literally off the side of the mountain. It was terrifying and exhilarating. I had never done anything like that before! Here I was 2500 feet up, preparing to step off the platform. I learned about all the safety precautions, the types of ropes and harnesses used to protect me, and most importantly, I got to know the man that would be holding the end of my rope. When I was in position, he yelled up to me, "On belay!" This was a signal to me that he was holding on and was ready for me to step off.

I was able to let go (eventually) because I trusted that he was holding on to the other end of that rope. That took an incredible amount of trust in someone I hardly knew. At the end of that retreat, we were all given a piece of climbing rope tied into a belay knot, along with the Scripture verse above.

I keep this rope in my office to remind me of three things.

1. God will never let go of me, even when I let go of Him. He will never let go of me! He is always holding on to me. It seems like I'm only truly aware of this when I am going through a difficult time. I look to God to be my strength when I am feeling weak. I want to hear him say, "On belay" so I know it's safe to take that step.

2. Sometimes God is going to call me out of my comfort zone. He's going to ask me to do something I've never done before. I can trust that He is "On belay" and won't let me fall.

3. I also try to remember in the good times, that I am not God. I am only able to accomplish the things I do because He is with me, and He provided the opportunity in the first place. Even when I think I don't need Him, He is there protecting and providing for me.

4. Finally, I am reminded that I am called to be the one shouting "On belay" for others. Who are the people that are counting on me, and am I holding on tightly, assuring them that they can trust me?

Lord, thank you that you are faithful and true, and that you are always holding on to me. Even if I let go of you because of fear or doubt, you are holding on to me. Even when I feel ill equipped to do that new thing, you are holding on to me. Even if I let go of you in my arrogance and pride thinking I don't need you, you are holding on to me. When I am called to hold on to others, you give me the strength I need. Father, you are the author of unconditional love. You will never let me go. I cannot earn more of Your love than I have right now, nor can I lose it. Thank you that I don't have to be afraid and help me to trust that you've always got the other end of my rope!

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