Lessons from Skydiving!
I recently heard a story about a man who was afraid of heights; actually to be honest he was terrified. So he set out to conquer this fear by trying out sky diving. Yes I know sounds crazy, but in order to get over something sometimes you need to take drastic measures.
He did some research via the Internet and found a nearby airport where he could take a few lessons and then take the ultimate plunge. He booked an appointment, paid his fee and as the day approached became more and more fearful of what he had decided to sign up for.
On the designated day he went to the airport, and participated in the lesson but at the last minute decided that there was no way that he was going up in that airplane. He left and went home, a little bit frustrated at his inability to overcome his fear of heights.
Six months later he decided to try again, so he repeated the process, of going online, booking his lesson, hoping that he would be able to follow through with it this time. When he got to the air strip that morning, he was optimistic at his chances of conquering this fear once and for all. He went through the lessons, got all suited up and went out with his class mates to the small airplane. Just as he was about to board the small plane he decided that he could not do it once again.
This time however he had gotten much further than his previous attempts. He left the airstrip, with his fear still strapped around his heart and his frustration bubbling over.
Another 6 months had passed and he was yet to conquer his fears; but all of that was about to change. During this time, he met a very prominent gentleman. As their relationship grew, the man was invited to join the man and his company on a team building exercise they had been planning. It was not until after he had agreed to join them that he discovered that they were going skydiving. Yes you heard right, sky diving. It was too late for him to back out and in order to avoid embarrassment he prepared himself to go. He was unsure if he would be able to do it, but he was committed.
The gentleman introduced him to one of his colleagues who would participate in the flight that day and this colleague reassured him that the jump would be fine, as he had personally jumped 4000 times before.
On the day of the jump they watched all of the required videos, practiced jumping tandem and this time, he made it further than before, he made it into the plane, first. Now the person that enters a plane first is the last to jump. He was terrified, but knew that he could not back out now, he had someone else to consider and had to make the jump with the experienced jumper.
When it came to their turn, the pilot informed them that the plane was too low and had to fly to a higher altitude for a safe jump. As they plane ascended they prepared for the jump. The experienced sky diver strapped him onto himself, went over the last minute instructions, but could see how tense he was.
Seeing the hesitation and fear rise up within the newbie, the experienced skydiver knew that if he was going to convince him to jump he would have to reassure him that because of his vast experience they would make it safely back to the ground again.
So he said to him, “In order for you to have a successful jump, you need to trust me and take the first step out of the plane.”
The newbie knew that he was correct, he put his confidence in his partners abilities and experience and took that first step out of the airplane. It was an exhilarating experience and in that moment, he knew that he had overcome his unreasonable fear of heights once and for all.
Brothers and Sisters,
I would like to draw your attention to a few things in this story that struck me when I heard it.
We may have many fears in our lives, some of them small and some huge, but the bible teaches us, that when we put our trust in God, through his son Jesus Christ, we will have no reason to fear.
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of son ship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
This verse in Romans tells us that as Christians we no longer have to fear, that instead we have been given a spirit that makes us children of God. That we can call God daddy! (Abba means Daddy).
There is another verse that I would like to show you,
1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Yes, fear involves punishment, dear brothers and sisters, as children of the most high God, we will not face punishment, we have been given a new life, our sins have been forgiven and we don’t need to be afraid of anything because the Holy Spirit, lives within us and we have been given the gift of being free.
If you find yourself in a place of fear, I would like to encourage you to take a moment and ask the lord to show you his truth about your fear. Most of what we fear never ever comes to pass, we think that it might, but the reality is, it never does. Then I want you to take the next step and ask him to forgive you for believing the lie that you have to live in fear of something.
Remember, God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of a sound mind and good judgment!
The next lesson that I would like to point out from the above story is this that our fearful skydiver only jumped out of that plane, once he felt convinced that his skydiving coach’s abilities were greater than his. He knew that he could trust his coach to lead him safely to solid ground when the jump was completed. He transferred his trust from himself to his coach.
That is a perfect picture of what God does for us, he surrounds us with his presence and just like the frightened skydiver was attached to his experienced coach, we too are surrounded by God. Our terrified skydiver did not have confidence in his own abilities, but he knew that his coach’s ability was solid, from years of skydiving.
The same is true with God. He might ask us to do things in this world that are terrifying to us, but we can take confidence in the fact that God is there all the time, teaching, guiding, leading and helping us to safety. When we put our confidence in ourselves and in our abilities, we will surely fail. But when we allow God to be our coach, and the head of our lives, He promises that he will never leave us. He knows the beginning from the end and is quite capable of keeping us safe and secure forever.
My Prayer for you,
Heavenly father, I bring before you today, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ. I pray father, that you will help them to put their trust in you. You are all that we need to navigate this life. We cannot trust in riches, our abilities, or our friends to give us the confidence to live our lives but we can trust in you.
Father, please fill my brothers and sisters in Christ with a renewed understanding of the faith that you have placed in their hearts. Help them to become confident in your abilities to see them through any difficulties that they may face in their lives. I thank you lord, that you always hear us, and you take great pleasure in showing us that you are there for us in our time of need.
Bless my brothers and sisters in Christ today father,