But the story I always remember has to do with Blondin crossing the tightrope over Niagra Falls while pushing a wheelbarrow. This was a stunt he repeated many times, often with some sort of load in the wheelbarrow. Evidently, he once asked a question of the gathered crowd, (because, as you can imagine there was always a gathered crowd!) "Do you believe I could push this wheelbarrow across the tightrope with a person in it?", he asked. The crowd responded enthusiastically; they definitely believed he could perform the stunt and they cheered Blondin on. This was something new and they couldn't wait to see it and tell all of their friends about it. At that point, Blondin informed the crowd that he would need a volunteer to act as his passenger. As you might imagine, the crowd got very quiet then. Finally, the story goes, one man quietly assented to riding in the wheelbarrow.
It's sometimes hard to get into the wheelbarrow.
This story has frequently been used to illustrate the difference between true faith and simply saying that you believe something. And I often think about that when I meditate on Proverbs 3:5-6. There is a good chance you're familiar with these verses:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him
and he will make your paths straight (NIV)
I love these verses, and yet, they remain very challenging! I have been faced at times with really big, life-changing decisions. In fact, one of those decisions was what brought us to Spokane! And in these times, I really want to be obedient to God's will! And part of the trouble is that, with many decisions like this, either course of action has not only pro's but con's. Either course has attached to it difficulty or sadness or inconvenience or challenges, etc, etc, etc. And as I've thought about these things I sometimes realize, "I'm doing it. I'm trying to lean on my own, human understanding." That's the problem, isn't it?? When it comes to trusting the Lord--not just in principle, but really genuinely trusting Him with all of our heart--it's sometimes hard to get into the wheelbarrow. I know I'm by no means alone in this! All of us, every single day, whether in big or in small ways have a simple choice to make. Will we trust Him? Really, really trust Him with all of our heart? In other words, will we step into the wheelbarrow?
You know what helps? Remembering God's demonstrated trustworthiness from the past! He's proven over and over that He is perfectly capable of getting us safely to "the other side". Scripture proves it. Our own stories prove it. Our shared stories and testimonies from others prove it. He never has, and He never will fail. Ever! And so, just as I continue striving to remember this, I encourage you to remember it too. Whatever is set before you today, trust in the Lord with all of your heart!
- Pastor Paul