Monday, February 2, 2015
Ready, Set, Jump! By Melissa Driggers
I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope. (Hosea 2:15).
When I was in elementary and middle school, I was not a big fan of Phys Ed class. I hated it. I was a prissy little girl, concerned with my clothes and my hair. I hated to sweat. And for those of you who know me, you know that those things have not changed very much.
Anyway, despite my disdain for Phys Ed class, and my utter lack of athletic prowess, there was one activity that I loved… the Standing Broad Jump. The fact that I can say that I enjoyed anything related to track and field events makes me laugh out loud. But as a kid, I loved this. For those of you who may not remember, this was a game where you would stand at a line, just behind a sand pit. Our teacher would shout the cue…”Ready, set, jump!” Then, from a standing position, you would jump into the pit, and the length of the jump was measured. The farthest jump was marked by a yellow flag in the sand. The person who jumped the farthest, with both feet landing together and not falling backwards, was the winner.
I am not sure why I loved this little event so much. Perhaps it was because it wasn’t a contact sport. Or maybe it was because I didn’t have to run and get all sweaty. I loved that it wasn’t “Dodgeball” day, when I literally feared for my life. I’m not sure what the lure of a pit of sand and a yellow flag held for me. But there was just something about standing still and summoning all of the strength I could muster from standing firmly planted on solid ground to propel myself as far as I could into the “sandbox”, not knowing where or how far forward I might land. I jumped with all of my strength, as high as I could. I remember Mrs. Stafford, my P.E. teacher, suggesting to us that we look at the yellow flag from the longest jumper and focus on a mark past it. I would fix my eyes on the asphalt waiting on the other side of the sand and would mentally charge myself to jump as close to it as possible.
Tonight, as I write this, I feel like a child again, standing at that chalk jump line. Just as I stood on the asphalt at the line as a child, I now stand firm on the solid ground that comes from knowing that the course of my life is in the center of God’s will. But He is now asking me to jump, yet again. All I can see from my perspective is a desert of sand ahead of me. But what a gift it is to jump from that standing position. He is the solid ground from which I will propel. But I must admit, it’s still a little scary. There is a weird mix of adrenaline, excitement, anticipation, and curiosity about what is next...and when. I know that at the perfect moment, He will call me to bend my knees, push off, and fly across the desert, that Great Divide, to the very spot that He has already marked for me with the flags of His promises and faithfulness. I can rest in knowing that He will ensure that both of my feet hit the ground and that I don’t fall backwards.
I have to remind myself that I must place my security in who God is, and not in the circumstances swirling around in my life. Sometimes it is hard, because the circumstances seem to be the reality of life. But the true reality is not in the circumstances…the true, unwavering reality is in our great God who sees the entire picture and is always working on our behalf.
And now, here’s what I’m going to do:
I’m going to start all over again.
I’m taking her back out into the wilderness
where we had our first date, and I’ll court her.
I’ll give her bouquets of roses.
I’ll turn Heartbreak Valley into Acres of Hope.
She’ll respond like she did as a young girl,
those days when she was fresh out of Egypt.
God calls us to see the invisible, to commit to the impossible, and to do the outrageous. He never calls us to do what we can — only to do what He can through us. He calls us to rest and to live in His faithfulness, and only then can He return us to the vineyards of His fruitfulness in us. God will lure us into the desert sometimes —circumstances beyond us—and He asks us to endure the desert with no other thought than that His great heart will sustain us. And may we remember that the desert is all about discovering the faithfulness of God.
Ready... Set... Jump!
(Originally published at: http://infieldsofgrace.com/2008/07/11/ready-set-jump/)
You can connect with Melissa through her web site, at www.infieldsofgrace.com.