Faith On A Wire!

In the past, I have heard of people going over the Niagara Falls in barrels. According to “The Daredevils of Niagara Falls”,  there have been many brave men and women who have made such an attempt. It really takes faith to do such a dangerous stunt. Yet, it is very easy to sit back and admire these brave souls.

What would you do, if you were asked to join them? Charles Blondin gave such an offer to a crowd of onlookers. Charles Blondin is a famous French tightrope walker. In September 1860, Charles became the first person to traverse across the Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

Here is the amazing part! This tightrope walker did not just perform this amazing feat, once. Charles walked the tightrope, multiple times. At the end, one story tells of Charles walking a wheelbarrow across the tightrope. The show did not stop there.

Would you be willing to get into the wheelbarrow?

At the end, Charles Blondin asked for a volunteer. Who would like to get into the wheelbarrow? Will one of you be willing to get in and be wheeled across the tightrope? 

What do you suppose is the likely response? It is easy to believe Charles could walk across the tightrope; as he done so many times. It is easy to marvel at the other guy.  However, it is a different story when it is you or me.

According to the story, no one volunteered to get in. With the exception of one person, Charles Blondin was greeted by silence. Who is the mysterious brave soul? It is a man named Harry Colcord, Charles’ manager.

The idea of crossing the Niagara Falls on a tightrope is certainly a scary proposition. I would not fault anyone for not getting in the wheelbarrow. The person would be taking a dangerous risk; although the rewards would have been great. I am not so sure that I’d hop in. If I did get in, my eyes would be tightly closed for fear of looking down.

Do you see a parallel between the above story and our walk with Jesus? It is easy to sit and read the many wonderful stories found in the Bible. In many ways, the Word of God is not dull reading. The Scripture is filled with God doing incredible things with ordinary people. Do you know what these people have in common?

They place their trust in God; even if they did not see how God is going to work things out. Yes, these men and women had their shares of doubts and fears; nevertheless, they stepped on to the highwire and got into the wheelbarrow. These people trusted God to get them through to the other side.

Yes, Charles Blondin performed an incredibly dangerous stunt. According to Wikipedia, he did run into mishaps when the rope broke.  As such, it would take great courage to get in the wheelbarrow and trust that Charles would get safely to the other side.  The same basic idea applies to our walk with Jesus.

A friend once mentioned that faith is spelled R-I-S-K.  Steve is quite right. There is always an element of risk when it comes to stepping out in faith. Am I going to fall on my face and be put to shame? Am I really hearing from Jesus? Such questions often arise when we step out in faith.

In saying this, I need to point something out. Faith is not blind trust; as some people would say. Before Charles asked for volunteers; this incredible daredevil gave evidence that he could safely traverse the tightrope. I don’t think you’d want to get in a wheelbarrow and be carried by an incompetent individual? No, I would want to see that he can do it.

How does this relate to walking in faith with Jesus? I will simply point to the many evidence found in the Scriptures. These evidence point to God’s faithfulness and his demonstrated characters. As I come to trust my Father, it becomes easier to trust the leading of God’s Holy Spirit. Do you recall what I said about getting in the wheelbarrow with Charles pushing it? 

Though I will have bouts of fear and doubt, knowledge encourages one to step out and trust Jesus to help us. This is one reason to spend time in the Word of God. Faith is also helped by spending time with God and talking with him, through prayer.

Read James 2:14-26

Here is another important aspect of faith that needs pointing out. Faith requires action. It is easy to say that we have faith; however, James 2:14-26 clearly shows that faith needs to be followed by actions.

If I have confidence in my Father’s promises then it would make sense that I’d act on it. It is not a matter of saying, I believe. In truth, our words need to line up with our actions. For our actions testifies to our beliefs.

By acting in faith, we can truly learn of God’s faithfulness and His goodness. For we shall transition from merely hearing about God’s faithfulness to a personal knowledge of God’s faithfulness. Do you see the difference?

Are you ready to get into the wheelbarrow and let Jesus take you across the tightrope? Are you willing to become a participant in what God is doing? Do you prefer to stay with the crowd of onlookers? It takes courage to step out in faith and join Jesus on the tightrope.

Barry Brindisi

Author of "You Are Not A Lesser Human".

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