Faith Before, Encouragement After

Do you remember that incredibly iconic scene in the movie Indiana Jones where he steps off a cliff into nothingness? I’ve often pictured that scene when I’m encountering a moment where I can’t see ahead of me and I have to take a step anyway. It’s equal parts terrifying and encouraging.

How do you trust in that moment? How do you find the faith to leap?

I’ve had a couple of instances lately where I’ve desperately wanted a word of encouragement. I was facing a cliff and all I wanted was a word saying… “leap”. Or, “it’s going to be okay, the road will be there”. But the word didn’t come.

What did happen was that I ended up digging in with my faith. Like Indiana Jones, I went back to my “Father’s Journal” and remembered His promised and His words, and anchored my soul again in truth. In the end, I had to leap before I knew that there was a road, but as soon as I made that decision to trust and keep walking, the encouragement came.

The things is, faith helps others to see the path in front of us. We want them to see it for us, to know for us and cheer us on, but no one is walking our journey but us. No one else can see past your cliff, but God. And the only way they see is when you leap. Sometimes friends might us encourage us in the journey by shouting helpful things at us like “Hurry, Indiana!”

But our Heavenly Father who sees all and knows all has gone before us and He has a plan. He’s the only one who knows our whole journey from start to finish and that step of faith off the mountain is actually a critical part of our story. Will I trust Him when I can’t see everything? Will I trust His word when I can’t “plan” beyond the next step? Will I trust Him enough to leap?

In the end I leaped. I chose to press on, and almost immediately God sent people to encourage me. Once the decision was made and I started walking forward again, others could see the path again. I don’t know why it had to come in that order, but I think it had a lot to do with the fact that God wants my whole heart and my whole trust, and that moment of faith is a huge part of our relationship. If I had been reliant on others, I think it would have been their relationship with me or their relationship with God that threw me off a mountain. At some point, you have to do your own leaping.

It has a lot to do with the person you’re becoming, and even more to do with the adventure that you’re on, and how good your heavenly father is to always make a way forward on the adventure He has called you to.

Go for it, dear ones. Don’t wait for others to see the path. God already sees, and the whole journey might just be about the relationship you’re building with your Father. It was for Indiana Jones. In the end of the movie, he’d sacrificed, fought, chased, battled, won and lost and every moment really boiled down to the restoration of his relationship with his father. The very thing he’d struggled with was trusting his Father and in the end that was what saved them. He never would have stepped off that cliff if he didn’t finally surrender and trust his father, and his father somehow knew exactly what he would need to find the courage to step off that cliff.

Our heavenly father knows too, and He has a plan. Encouragement will come, but it might only come after you take that next step. So take courage, check your Father’s words, and go for it!

(And if you’ve never seen it, you might want to go watch Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade so that you can have your own picture of a true leap of faith 😉