“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
One day a man was walking along a cliff when he slipped and fell over the edge. As he plunged downwards he managed to grab the branch of a small tree that was growing from a crevice in the rock. Hanging there, swaying in the cold wind, he realized how helpless his position was. Far below were jagged boulders and there was no way to climb up. His grip on the branch was weakening every second. “Well,” he thought, “only God can save me now. I have never believed in God but I might be wrong. What have I to lose?” So he called out, “God, if you exist, save me, and I will believe in you.” There was no answer. He called again, “Please God, I never believed in you, but if you will save me now, I will believe in you!”
Suddenly a great voice boomed down from the clouds, “Oh no you won’t, I know your kind.”
The man was so surprised, he almost lost his grip on the branch. “Please God, you are wrong. I really mean it; I will believe.”
“Oh no you won’t. That’s what they all say.”
The man pleaded and argued. Finally God said, “Alright, I will save you. Let go of the branch.”
“Let go of the branch?” the man exclaimed. “Do you think I am crazy?”
Many people trust in God, as long as it is something they believe He can do. It’s funny that sometimes we find ourselves content to let God handle the ordinary things in life like giving us an opportunity to do well on a job interview or score well on a test. But, when it comes to the really hard things, the things that seem impossible, we have little faith that He can handle them. We are often tempted to trust our own means rather than give the problem to God. Being content to wait on the Lord for the impossible is something that most people just have a hard time doing.
Why are we so reluctant to give God the impossible things? We know that He has done the impossible in the past. He created something from nothing. How much more impossible can you get? Even the simpler things like parting the waters of the Red Sea and sending manna and quail to His children in the desert. Yet, when it comes to our impossible, the things that have us so stymied that we are at a total loss for a solution, we often find ourselves thinking that we know God could do it, but it seems so far-fetched that it’s nearly impossible. So we fight it alone.
Perhaps it’s just because we feel we don’t want to bother God with the ‘impossible’ tasks or because we feel foolish asking. More likely, however, it’s because we have a schedule for things to happen and when they don’t happen in our timing we are disappointed and give up. We know that God has a solution and a plan for every struggle in life. The problem is we often find ourselves reluctant to match our schedules with His timetable.
Even when we have nothing to lose, we are still afraid to give it to God. Just as in the story above, the man heard God’s voice and still did not trust Him. God is in control of everything – even the impossible things. We just have to learn to let go of the branch.
“…All things are possible for one who believes.” Mark 9:23