Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m not an outdoorsy type person. I’m also very afraid of heights, so you would not ever catch me rock climbing. However, the idea of rock climbing became very significant to me this week.
I was under a lot of stress and felt like I was falling into a pit of anxiety and depression. I’ve been in that pit before. I’ve worked very hard in the past 7 years to get out of the pit and stay out. There have been times when I’ve slipped and almost fallen. Thanks to God’s grace, and the support of family and friends, I’ve managed to find the footholds to climb out before I hit the bottom.
Earlier this week, however, as I struggled with the idea of trying to claw my way out of the pit that stress had caused, God gave me an amazing word picture.
Psalm 94:18-19 reads:
“When I said, my foot is slipping, your love, O Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great with me, Your consolation brought joy to my soul.” (NIV)
The image of a rock climber came to mind. Not knowing anything about it, I took a look at some photos and watched videos of rock climbers. I was impressed by the use of a belayer to assist in a safe climb.
Wikipedia describes the belaying process as follows:
“As the climber moves on the climb, the belayer must make sure that the climber has the right amount of rope by paying out or pulling in excess rope. If the climber falls, they free-fall the distance of the slack or unprotected rope before the friction applied by the belayer starts to slow their descent. Too much slack on the rope increases the distance of a possible fall, but too little slack on the rope may cause the climber to “whip” or swing into the rock at a high velocity, possibly injuring themselves. It is important for the belayer to closely monitor the climber’s situation, as the belayer’s role is crucial to the climber’s safety.”Wikipedia.com
I have the sense that Jesus is my belayer as I climb the wall of life. He holds the rope, and He is attached to me through my relationship with Him. Though my foot may slip, He’s not going to let me crash to the ground.
Of course, I have some personal responsibility when it comes to my safety. I have to choose my path wisely. I can’t expect Jesus to save me when I am climbing outside the safety of His will. And the Bible makes clear what His will is in almost every situation that I face.
To stay out of the pit and climb successfully through life, I need the firm foundation of the Word of God. That foundation is the truth of who I am in Christ.
What is that truth?
God loves me.
God forgives me.
God accepts me.
I am a child of God.
As you climb the rock wall of life’s stresses, harness yourself to the One who created you, who knows you better than you know yourself, and who wants you to be fulfilled and blessed.
Make Jesus your belayer. He will make sure you have the right amount of rope to safely climb successfully out of the pit. He will not let you fall.