I thought I’d be telling you all about my skydive adventure. Friends and I were scheduled to jump Sunday afternoon at 4:00. I left church quickly after the 11:00 worship time concluded, changed clothes and was getting ready to go out the door and to the airfield – about an hour’s drive or a little more.
While I was bustling around, the phone rang: the jump had been cancelled, due to rain and wind. I rushed back to church to let people know – so many were planning to go to the airfield to watch – but most everyone had already left.
So here I am, waiting again for this Sunday’s jump. The weather forecast is not encouraging – a 40% chance of rain – but I’m hoping we’ll get to jump this time. If not, we’ll try for the next week.
The problem is, I used the jump to raise funds for a wonderful non-profit (if you’d care to give or just want to know more, go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/jumping-for-beginnings-care), and now I haven’t jumped and may not be able to jump this Sunday either, if the weather does not permit.
All this waiting. I’m not great at it. When I make up my mind to do something, I want to go right at it, not wait for it. The singer/songwriter Michael Card must know that experience for he wrote the line, “Waiting is the most bitter lesson a human heart has to learn.”
But everyone must learn wait. There simply is no other way to become the full, mature, joyful people God intends us to be. Waiting to jump out of an airplane is nothing compared to waiting for your child to be well, your next job to open up, a relationship to be healed, or God to guide you. We all must wait, and waiting is one of God’s most effective tools in shaping us into compassionate, confident people.
Henry Nouwen learned something about waiting from his friends, the trapeze artists known as the “Flying Roudellas.” They told Nouwen that the “flyer” (the one who lets go) must remain as still as possible and wait for the “catcher” to pluck him out of the air. One of the Roudellas said to Henry, “The flyer must never try to catch the catcher.” That would ruin everything. Instead, he must wait in absolute trust. The catcher will catch him, but he must wait.
Waiting on God is like that. We don’t catch him – as if we could! – but we trust him to catch us. And he will. Moses said of the LORD that he is “like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions.”
If you are left hanging today, keep still and let the Lord catch you. He won’t miss.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to tell you all about jumping out of an airplane next week!