Michael Holmes had made over 7.000 jumps. This was a day like no other in New Zealand. A day he’d never forget. This time…he jumped…and his parachute didn’t open.
Randy Harris tells a story about black water rafting. Black water rafting is very much like white water rafting…except that it’s in a cave. So, they trekked and they traveled through the wild lands of New Zealand. They huffed and they hiked through a cave filled with glowworms, until they reached their starting point. A cliff.
As Randy peered over the edge, he saw the river below. It was dark. He says it was somewhere between 20 and 10,000 feet down. As he looked over the precipice, the guide said, “1….2….3…jump!” Randy’s legs didn’t move. He just stood there. The guide asked him if he didn’t understand his New Zealand accent. So, they went again…and before the count of three..Randy jumped. And, he landed in the river below. All safe and sound.
David was once in a cave, too. He was hiding there with 600 fighting men, when King Saul entered. That’s important because Saul put a shoot to kill order on David. Kill him! Here was the man who had tried to kill David on multiple occasions in the palace. Here was the man who had killed the priests who had helped David Yes, the spear throwing madman had entered the room…and David had his chance. He crouched forward in the darkness, and he extended his blade. He cut…the corner of Saul’s garment. It was a cut to the king’s pride, but not to his throat. In a display of restraint, David was making a statement, but he realized later that even this was wrong. He couldn’t disrespect the king, whom he called God’s chosen, God’s anointed.
His heart burned within him, and he realized what he had to do. He had to jump out of this cave. He had to go over the cliff and into the hands of a militant mob. He had to hand himself over to the king. So, he did. He walked out of that cave. I don’t know if his hands trembled or his knees buckled, but I do know this….he jumped. You see, he didn’t know what awaited him. He didn’t know how Saul would react. There were 3,000 armed men out there, and David was backed into a corner.
He jumped out into the open. He jumped with legs of trusting faith. He believed that the same God who helped him kill a giant would protect him from the armies of the king. And, he knew that when he jumped, that God would be with him. So, David jumped out of that cave, and he lived. Saul didn’t kill him. He even asked David for forgiveness. The mad monarch became the penitent pleader. The hand that once threw a spear extended the olive branch. David’s parachute opened, so to speak.
But, you know what, even if David had jumped and his parachute didn’t open, I believe God would have still been with David. If the threads of Saul’s penitence had worn thin, and the parachute of mercy had fallen through, God would still have been with David, and I believe he would have protected him. Now, could you imagine that…jumping and your parachute not opening…and still surviving. You might call that an act of God. Some might say it was a miracle.
Do you remember Michael Holmes? On that fateful day in New Zealand, he was the one who jumped 14,000 feet. That’s nearly a 5K. That’s 2.65 miles. That’s a long way! After his parachute didn’t open, he freaked out. And, then something amazing happened. He rolled into a four-point horizontal roll, and the energy of the crash was dissipated. He crash landed, but he survived.
So, while I’m not about to go jump out of a perfectly good plane, I will tell you what I’ve learned. You sometimes need to jump into the arms of grace. Jump with the legs of faith.
It may be a job.
It may be a relationship.
It may be a ministry.
I don’t know what it is for you, but it’s time to jump. Make that leap of faith because that’s where God will show up and show out in your life. The impossible might just happen. Even if that parachute doesn’t open…God will be with you.
That’s God’s promise. That’s God’s answer. That’s how we face the giants in our lives. That’s how we face the armies of the accuser. We jump knowing that the greatest power is right there with us all along. And, he makes people walk away even when the parachute doesn’t open.