For the past several weeks, I have been working on getting my handstand walks. Each day after the gym, I would stay over and try and try to get up side down and walk on my hands, but to no avail and with much frustration. I feared the lack of control I felt when my feet went too far. Surely I would topple over and injure myself. I wanted to be in control. So I would exclaim to the coaches “what do you mean my feet are not vertical?!” But when I looked at the video clip, I was in fact no where near to the vertical position that a handstand requires. Then the coaches explained to me that I needed to kick up past the point where I feel comfortable, to the point where I feel like I am falling. Only then would I be able to walk forwards on my hands.
This morning I saw the parallel to my walk with Jesus so clearly. Following Jesus does not work when we put ourselves in control of our lives. The core of Christianity is humility. It just does not work without it. In Christianity, you acknowledge that you are not your own, but God’s creation; you belong to Him. You realize your desperate sinful condition and that you cannot fix yourself on your own. You acknowledge that Jesus is the solution to your sin and you receive him and allow him to be your substitute before God, for because of our sin, we deserve the wrath of God. But Jesus took our place and because of him we can be accepted by God. The crux of Christianity is that we are saved by the grace of God by no merit of our own and we live each day depending on God’s grace. Period.
With the handstand walks, when I finally yielded myself to that feeling of almost falling, I discovered a new confidence. When I got to the point of almost falling, I actually was able to take steps and began to feel comfortable being upside down. I then did not fear falling. But it is a feeling that I could never experience as long as I remained in control. In the same way in the Christian life, God calls us into a life of experiences that we cannot access as long as we remain in control. He invites us into a wealth of peace, joy, and contentment that we can only access when we yield control of our lives, surrender to Him, and trust that He will keep us from falling when we move past the point where we feel comfortable into a place of simple faith and trust in His power.
Most times it feels counterintuitive just like with the handstands. You wonder how in the world can things work out if I am not controlling all the pieces. When the coaches told me to kick up past the point of comfort, inside I wondered how in the world can I do a handstand if I am going to fall over?
Hebrews 11:6 says “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
When we have child-like faith in God, we also become humble as God requires. Humility is everywhere in scriptures and Jesus modeled perfect humility when he walked the earth.
“God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” - James 4:6
“...be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” - 1 Peter 5:5
And one of my favorites:
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” - 1 Peter 5:6-7
God cares for you and me. He does not want to see us flopping around in life thinking that we are accomplishing something, but if we were to see the video of our lives we would see that we are failing miserably at holding the pieces together. If we would just surrender far past where we’ve ever felt comfortable, we will find that this is where the power of God kicks in and counter to all of our broken intuition, we will be able to walk confidently, happily, and securely, held up not by our strength, but by the grace and power of God alone.