Blog

Joan Cook

Go Ahead, Jump!

Several years ago, during an On The Go mission project to Costa Rica, our team had the opportunity to take the day and visit the rainforest. Once we arrived, we boarded several six-person aerial trams that would take us the two miles into the rainforest and the two miles back out again. As our tram climbed to the highest level in the journey, we were able to see the magnificent plants, flowers, wildlife, and beauty of the rainforest. We even saw Toucans! It was absolutely amazing.

After a little while, it began to storm. It was thundering and lightning so bad that we were afraid it would strike the tram. And about that time, Kaboom! Our tram came to a complete stop one hundred feet above the ground! We waited for the rain to subside and our tram to move again, but when the rain ended, our tram remained still.

For three and a half hours, we waited for the problem to be fixed, only to be surprised to see a man shimmying down the cable car wire dropping mysterious bags in each car. As our guide opened the bag, we were all surprised to find a rope, harness, and carabiner. Our guide boldly explained these items would be used to help us get down. Each of us would be rappelling out of the cable car one hundred feet to the ground!

My son, who was 21 at the time, threw his hands in the air and said with excitement, “I can’t believe I’m in the rainforest in Costa Rica, I’m stuck in a cable car, I’m 100 feet up in the air and I GET to rappel!” At the same time, the response of his 40-year-old mother was, “I can’t believe I’m in the rainforest in Costa Rica, I’m stuck in a cable car, I’m 100 feet up in the air and I HAVE to rappel!”

We had to trust in the equipment and the men below- then just JUMP! One by one, we each stepped into the harness and jumped out of the cable car. Fortunately, we all made it to the ground and out of the rainforest safely.

But later, as I thought about this experience, I realized that my response in the cable car was just like my response to God on so many occasions. “God, I know you want me to place all my faith in You. I know you have brought me this far and I know you’re taking care of me, but you want me to do what?! You are asking me to jump out of my comfort zone and just rely on you? God, do you know how hard, how scary, how uncomfortable that is for me? Lord, I don’t know if I can do it.”

And all the while, God would rather I have the attitude my son had. “God, I’m excited about the future! Yes, I’m scared and unsure, but I’m stepping out in faith and obedience just because that is what you’ve told me to do. Lord, I know you are taking care of me and I choose to trust and believe you even when my feelings tell me something different.”

What a difference. We all want to have an attitude of excitement and anticipation of what God wants to do in and through us, right? Every day we make a choice – we choose to

follow Christ (1 Corinthians 4:17), be led by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:25), be obedient to His word (1 John 5:2), or we try and do things on our own, in our own way and disregard the Holy Spirit’s direction and leadership (Galatians 5:16-18). Why, so often, do we choose to go it on our own?

Sometimes I think I might know what’s best for me much more than God does. I mean, how could He possibly understand what I’m going through and how I feel? I sometimes think if I just work harder to figure it out, I can get where I want to go. But I’m afraid the harder we work to try and accomplish things on our own, the more difficult the situation becomes (Jonah 1:1-15). We are then left in a state of depression and despair with a feeling of hopelessness because we are going in the wrong direction.

As we are willing to listen to the Holy Spirit and be obedient to WHATEVER direction He leads us, we begin to work with God’s wind of favor behind us. It is much easier and joyful to do things God’s way (Matthew 11:28-30). Your impossibilities become possible with Him. Your dreams become reality. He gives you the desires of your heart (Psalm 145:19).

The Lord knows what our potential is in Him and He also knows our limitations (Psalm 103:14). God is telling us to break out of our comfort zone and step out in faith knowing He will be there to catch us. He really can do the impossible if we let Him (Luke 18:27). As we take that first leap of faith, He’ll do the rest. Trust Him today!

Joan Cook
As a teenager, I always felt that God had chosen me to do something "special" for Him, but I did not know what it was. It was only when I met my soon to be husband that I began to see what calling God had placed on my life. My husband is an evangelist and my calling came the second I said "I do." This calling is to work alongside him as he takes the gospel all around the world. Anything I can do to help aid that process is a calling.