The Peacemaker Monthly
Part One – Glorify God
Falling Off the Rock
by Cara McLauchlan
“…if you believe that God is sovereign and good, you will be able to trust him and obey him, even in the midst of difficult circumstances.”
– The Peacemaker, page 70
Recently, my son and I went rock climbing, but it was not the true mountain-style climbing. This was the kind you find in a strip mall; a landscape of fake rocks sprinkled with colorful nubs. Rock climbing in a strip mall almost feels like Fred Flintstone came to suburbia and opened a business—truly, it is a place where cartoons meet the fitness club.
Looking from the bottom up, the “paths” to climb sound inviting and have cute names like “Taco Buster” or “Gillian’s Delight.” However, from the top down, they need names more like “Mom’s Terror” or “Doom of Death.”
As I scaled the wall for the first time and made it to the top, I could not remember what the perky attendant told me to do once I arrived. My son saw my struggle and yelled encouragement, “Come on, Mom, just let go!” Surely this was not what I was supposed to do; I imagined myself plummeting to my death. Seeking reassurance, I looked for validation. Another mom saw my distress and offered, “He’s right. Just fall backwards.”
Sure, uh huh.
After several minutes I decided that I could not hang forty feet up forever, so I released my grip on the wall. If you have never been rock climbing, allow me to share with you what happens next: for the first few seconds after releasing the wall you free-fall speedily and then almost like a deep breath, the ropes catch up and you glide effortlessly to the ground. I am embarrassed to say I actually hugged the ground when I made it down. Relief was a complete understatement.
I could not help but think about rock climbing in comparison to our faith, with trusting God to catch us. We pray, we seek God’s will, we read the Bible, and we pray some more, but ultimately, there comes a moment in our faith walk when we have to let go and trust God to catch us—to trust that God is God and He will do all that He promises He will do.
When I think of the difficult task of letting go of the safe things in life, I am reminded of the examples of trust recorded in the Bible; people like Esther, Moses, Joshua, and Paul. Suddenly, my trust walk is not so hard when I realize the fate of the nation does not depend upon me, I have not wandered in the desert for forty years, I am not leading a battle for survival, and I am not imprisoned after having been beaten nearly to death.
“The apostle Paul had the same habit of trusting God regardless of his circumstances. On one occasion in Philippi, he and Silas were falsely accused, severely flogged, and thrown into prison. Incredibly, instead of wallowing in doubt or despair, they spent the night “praying and singing hymns to God” (Acts 16:25)” (page 67).
Reading this made me ask the hard question, “Do I completely trust God?” Can I trust Him for whatever He gives, in all ways and in all situations? Can I trust Him even in the worst of circumstances? Could I sing in prison like Paul?
In The Peacemaker, I was reading the story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot. In 1956, Jim was murdered along with four other missionaries when he tried to bring the gospel to the Aucas, an isolated tribe in South America. Through her pain, Elisabeth continued to trust God and His plan for the loss of her husband.
She writes, “The Auca story… has pointed to one thing: God is God. If he is God, he is worthy of my worship, and my service. I will find rest nowhere but in his will, and that will is infinitely, immeasurably, unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what he is up to. God is the God of human history, and he is at work continuously, mysteriously, accomplishing his eternal purposes in us, through us, for us, and in spite of us…He gives all the light we need for trust and obedience” (page 68).
I love the last line, “He gives all the light we need for trust and obedience.” This sentence wraps around me in a safe blanket of assurance. I hold fast to that line when I feel inadequate in my homeschooling or I am overwhelmed with my ailing parents’ health issues. When I am not sure I have the strength to do what needs to be done another day or I do not feel as though what I am doing is enough. I can remember that He is enough as I remember this line.
Trusting God is a full-body experience. He gives me all I need to let go of my rock and know He is there. I can rest in the knowing that I can trust Him with everything. Therefore, I can remember that God is God, no matter what.
Read Along in The Peacemaker
Read Part 1 – Chapter 3 (page 59-73)
- Where is it easy for you to trust God?
- Where do you struggle with trusting God?
- Describe an experience in which you trusted God despite difficult circumstances. What was that like and how did it turn out?
- See page 73, question #4, “How would your feelings, attitudes, and behavior change if you started seeing this dispute as an assignment from a perfectly loving and all-powerful God?”
- How would you advise a friend when they are struggling to trust God in difficult circumstances?
- What is your favorite example of trust recorded in the Bible?
- Where do you need to let go and trust God more?