I received a story about a bird watcher who was out to track down a very elusive bird. He was high in the mountains when he spotted the bird, and he was so excited, that he walked off the edge of a cliff.On the way down, he grabbed hold of the branch of a tree. Hanging a hundred feet below the canyon-top, and a thousand feet from the bottom, he cries out for help.A voice answers saying, "I am here."This bird watcher says, "I am so grateful. Who are you?" The voice replies, "I am God and I am here to help""That's great," said the man. "I've been hanging on here for dear life. I can't hang on much longer."God says, "But before I help you, I want to know if you believe in me.""Oh yes," he said, "I do. I go to Church most of the time. I occasionally pick up the Bible. When I have nothing else to do, I even have a little read. And I put a few bucks in the offering plate. Yes, I believe in you."God replied, "No, I want to know if you really believe in me.""Oh," he said, "I really believe in you. Believe me, I believe in you. I am 100 percent committed to you.""Wonderful," said God. "Let go of the branch. If you really believe in me, let go of the branch."There was silence. Then the man shouted out at the top of his lungs, "Is there anybody else out there?"
Doesn't that sound just like you and me sometimes? We know what God says about trusting and believing in him, yet we try to find answers somewhere else. Why? For some strange reason we usually think it would be either an easier or safer way. Yet, if we ever expect to have life "everlasting," we are required to trust in God and obey his instructions for us in the scripture.
What is it you are looking for in life? Perhaps some form of security; some promise regarding your future, some guarantee that you will be cared for? Earthly security is very short lived and very shaky at its best. Remember the words of the psalmist that we should be proclaiming everyday: "I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God, in him will I trust." (Psalms 91:2)
I don't know about you, but I still have some work to do to get my trust to the level it needs to be. Most of the time, I feel like the father of the boy possessed by a demon. He questioned Jesus' ability to help the boy, and Jesus rebuked him and told him to believe. Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24)
I still have some work to do.
My prayer is that God will have patience with me as I continue to fight my own human weaknesses and keep from crying out, "Is anyone else out there?"
How about you?
About the Author
Russ Lawson is a former missionary to Africa and minister in Ohio. He now works with World Christian Literature Outreach and writes a weekly email devotional, Messages from the Heart. For more information about Russ, click here
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