By Lori Boyd
My kids are pretty fearless. They like fast amusement park rides, jellyfish stings don’t keep them out of the ocean, and there is no trace of acrophobia in their little bodies. They even eat sushi.
Last year, at ages 9 and 7, Evie and Kate rappelled down Copperhead Cliff at Fall Creek Falls State Park. Our family had been indoor rock-climbing before, but that was their first “real-life” experience. They loved it! In fact, as Kate was rappelling to the bottom of the cliff you could hear her yelling “Wheeeeeeeee” every time she pushed herself away from the rocks. We went rock-climbing again this past weekend and this time Briggs made his first ascent. He did fantastic!
While my kids were climbing up and rappelling down the rock walls, I found myself closely watching their belayers. The job of the belayer is to pull the slack through a belay device as the climber goes up the wall, “catch” the climber if they fall, and control the descent of the climber back to the ground. As the belayer, the safety of the climber is in your hands! As the climber, you have to have complete faith in the ability of your belayer.
Faith. I like it defined this way: “having a confident belief and a confident hope, which motivates you to take action.” As Christians, our belief is in God our Father; our hope is for eternal life with Him in Heaven. That belief and that hope, together, incite our obedience to His Will, revealed to us in the Bible.
I read an article once about a missionary named John Paton who translated the Bible for islanders of the South Sea in the latter part of the 19th century. He had not been able to find a word in their vocabulary for the concept of believing, trusting, or having faith. One day, while he was in his hut translating, a native came running in and sat down in a chair, utterly exhausted. He said to Paton, “It is so good to rest my whole weight in this chair.” And there it was…John Paton had his word for faith: “resting your whole weight on God.” I like this definition too.
I think of Evie, Kate, and Briggs literally “resting their whole weight” on Sam or me as we belayed for them while they climbed to the top of the rock walls. This is a wonderful lesson for the Christian! Is there anything more assuring than knowing that as we face challenges daily, as we struggle to meet our goals, as we climb and fall over obstacles in our lives, we can rest our whole weight on God, knowing that He is holding our rope and He will keep us safe?
The Faithful Climber
By Lori Boyd