Thursday, January 21, 2016

Fear of Heights

I have always had a fear of heights. As a child the only place I felt this fear was in the hay loft of the barn and the bridge that crossed the creek that ran through the pasture on our farm. My real fear was of falling from the heights. So I would always stay away from the edge or creep carefully as close as I could get before fear overtook me. I had some daredevil friends, I discovered, who had no fear and challenged me to jump with them. From the hay loft I could see the mound of loose hay below that seemed it would cushion my fall quite effectively. But the process of jumping still challenged my fear. Even after watching other kids jump and live, I still had fear that made the first try very difficult. After much time and internal debating, I did finally jump into the hay and lived to tell about it.

The bridge however was a different story. Below were rocks of all sizes and a shallow stream of water. Even this naive kid knew it was not a good idea to jump off the bridge, Though the bridge wasn't very high, perhaps less than 20 feet from the creek, I knew it was dangerous and I warned my friends not to jump. One threatened to, but the others agreed with me that it was not safe. I remember one of my friends climbing all over that bridge, and that was dangerous enough. Thankfully they all went home uninjured.

As an adult I have experienced many higher places that still give me the chills to think about. Often the most beautiful places feature amazing peaks and valleys. I've been blessed to view the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Mesa Verde, the St. Louis Arch from the top, and flown in airplanes many times. But to this day when  I see a commercial where the view suddenly goes over the cliff or off the top of a skyscraper, my heart skips a beat and it takes my breath away.

It seems that to be able to try something like sky diving or bungee jumping, or being a wind turbine repair man you would have to convince yourself that there was no danger; that you would be safe. I need to know that God's loving arms are there to catch me, no matter what danger I face.

"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms" (Deuteronomy 33:27 NIV).

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39 NIV).

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