Now amongst this group there were some more confident than others and it was truly endearing to watch people pairing up, encouraging others to take the plunge, and offering a hand to hold.
That was magical to watch and it distracted me somewhat from my own fear. Finally, I found myself left on the top of this craggy shelf with just the tour guide and one other woman. She too had been abandoned by her partner who had been one of the first to jump. We peered tentatively over the edge to see all the successful jumpers enjoying the cool water below, beckoning to us to jump and who were hungry for lunch.
And then it happened.
My Heartbreak, Healing, and Hope
Just as I asked the guide standing behind me for the umpteenth time to repeat the one instruction I felt a hard shove in the small of my back. He had literally pushed me off the edge! I think I screamed some expletive that cannot be shared here, and then instinct told me to take a deep breath and hold my nose.
I hit the water, went under and then came back up. It was over. I had done it and, more importantly, I had survived! I could return home without that sinking feeling of having missed an experience but instead with a sense of achievement.
The other woman who admitted afterwards that she had a massive fear of heights was safely brought down via a series of natural rock steps that we had not been made aware of. The guide tied her to his waist to offer some additional security and safely delivered her to the waiting party below. She too left that day with a sense of achievement.
Courage, Prayer and a leap of Faith
Over lunch I asked the guide why he pushed me and not the other woman. Or can you remember the first time you attempted to swim without floats, or ride a bike without stabilizers? Those leaps of faith felt huge at the time and, despite you being told you could do it, you had absolutely no evidence that you actually could. They were betrothed to each other.
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In those days, betrothal was a legal agreement between two families. It was just the first step toward full marriage. When we first encounter Joseph in this gospel, Mary was still living with her family, in the time after the betrothal but before the actual marriage. Mary and Joseph would not live together until after the wedding ceremony.
Imagine how Joseph must have felt when he learned that Mary was pregnant. That was ridiculous at best, and downright blasphemous at worst! Disbelief…hurt…humiliation…disappointment…righteous anger—all of these feelings must have assaulted poor Joseph. Then, he had to decide. He was a moral, observant Jewish man. What did the law say? What should he do? That was out of the question. He had two choices. He could publically disgrace her—the law said he could even have her stoned to death for adultery.
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He could divorce her quietly. In the presence of two witnesses, he could write out a paper of divorce and present it to her. Even amid the deep hurt of betrayal, his compassionate heart won out.
He finally came to a decision. We must fight our battles in our own armor. Someone else cannot fight them for us. God will always equip us for the task, but it will be unique to the gifting and calling He has for us individually. Ignore the critic 1 Samuel , Satan will try to tell you that you are too weak, too insignificant, and too ineffective.
The enemy of your soul does not want you to advance. Walk in faith 1 Samuel This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I will strike you down. Walking in faith not only takes courage, it takes knowing the One who is faithful. He can be trusted! Let the Word out 1 Samuel In your situation, what is your goal?
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May His name be exalted through your situation, and may that be your main priority. When faced with new risks, it's easy to shrink back in fear rather than see the new opportunities God has placed before us. Life is an adventure. Get excited. He has great things in store for you!
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Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. How will you know what God is going to do in your life, unless you take risks?
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