Tuesday, January 14, 2003
Their name calls up some of the most breathtaking spectacles in circus history - the Great Wallendas! This world famous circus troupe has amazed circus-goers with their high wire act for oh, about three generations. I was interested to read in Decision Magazine about Tino Wallenda's commitment to Jesus Christ. Tino described what he's done for a living - walking on a cable that is 5/8ths of a inch thick, suspended between 30 and 100 feet in the air, at times suspended over dens of lions, between buildings and even over a pool of sharks! This is not what I want to be when I grow up! Tino said his grandfather, Karl Wallenda, started him out on a wire just two feet off the ground. He taught Tino how to hold his body rigid and how to place his feet on the wire and how to hold the pole with his elbows close to his body. But this great performer writes that "the most important thing that my grandfather taught me was that I needed to focus my attention on a point at the other end of the wire; a point that was unmoving and would not shift."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about "Avoiding a Fall."
Tino Wallenda says that he has found that his grandfather's secret for not falling off the high-wire is also the secret for keeping your balance in life - concentrating on something that never moves. For him, that is Jesus Christ. He's made the right choice.
Our word for today from the Word of God, Hebrews 12:1-2, reinforces this secret of stability. "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Notice, perseverance - hanging in there no matter what hits you, finishing safely. How do you do that? It says, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith."
So, don't look down at the risks below you. Don't focus on the people around you. Don't look back at what's behind you. Don't focus on how much farther you've got to go. That's how you fall. Focus on one unmoving point - on Jesus Christ, who, according to a verse that follows in the next chapter, is "the same yesterday, today, and forever." (Hebrews 13:8)
Right now, you may feel that you're suspended in mid-air with lots of uncertainties, lots of scary possibilities. You may be worrying about falling. Maybe you're experiencing some major shaking that is really throwing you off balance - you've been betrayed, you've been disillusioned, you've been laid off, you've been hit hard with bad news, you've been overwhelmed or wounded, you've failed.
Well, don't take your eyes off Jesus. If you focus on people or feelings or pressures or problems, you're going to lose your balance, and it's a long fall. But God's instruction is to "fix your eyes on Jesus." When you don't feel like being in His Word, that's when you need to be there the most. When it's hard to pray, that's when it's most important to pray. When you feel like giving up, that's the critical time to trust and obey. When your mind and emotions are all over the place, remember, God will keep "in perfect peace those whose minds are stayed on Him." (Isaiah 26:3) Several times a day, at the most difficult moments, say those three words that change everything - "Jesus is Lord."
When Corrie ten Boom and her beloved sister were imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp for harboring Jews, they lost everything. Corrie even lost her sister. But she spent her life traveling the world telling anyone who would listen this liberating lesson that God had taught her in the midst of unspeakable evil and unimaginable loss. She said, "With Jesus, the worst may come, but the best remains." Focus on the one you can never lose. Focus on Jesus.