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One-a-Day...for the Heart: Free Fall

Have you ever dreamed you’re­­­­ on a steep mountain peak or the highest pinnacle of a building when suddenly you’re in a chilling free fall, spiraling down, down, down into a bottomless pit of…something? With a startled JOLT, you wake up from the dream and cannot remember what you fell into.

One time I did remember. In a free fall, I landed at the bottom of the ocean, where I was scooping out treasure from an old pirate ship's treasure chest. It was SO REAL as I dug through strands of pearls and sparkling rubies, diamonds, emeralds, and other rare gems. I’m going to be so rich when I wake up, I thought, as I dug deeper into the treasure chest and found gold and silver coins to boot! My parents will never have to worry about another bill!

The exhilaration was overwhelming…until I realized my eyes were open and the morning sun was peeking through my bedroom window. I did not have even one scrawny, defective pearl on my pillow to show for the treasure I’d found when I reached the bottom of the ocean.

It was just another bottomless pit dream. Such dreams of free falling into an endless abyss might indicate great anxiety about an unsolvable problem. Or perhaps the dreamer feels trapped in a situation with no way out. Recurring bottomless pit dreams can indicate a feeling of hopelessness about a life situation. Whether we finally hit bottom or not, the sense of fear as we descend is intensely troubling. Not being able to see where we’ll end up or how things will be resolved makes us anxious and apprehensive.

Taking a step of faith is like a free fall. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible (Hebrews 11:1-3 ESV).

Just as we can’t see where our free fall will end in a dream, we are sometimes challenged by the Lord to take a flying leap of blind faith in life, trusting that He will meet us somewhere in the leap and everything will work out. Blind faith is the assurance (certainty) of things hoped for and the conviction (belief) of things not seen.

About that “everything will work out” part…imagine the thoughts Abraham might have had as he took his only son Isaac on a little walk to an altar where God had asked that he kill him as a burnt sacrifice. Maybe he thought, I declare this is Sarah’s and my child of promise! Or, the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord! Or, I will trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not unto my own understanding. We’re not told what words he uttered to the Lord, but blind faith spoke louder and louder with each step he took as he approached the altar.

Meanwhile, young Isaac was clueless that death awaited him as he plodded along on what was probably one of many walks he’d taken with his beloved dad. He absolutely trusted his father’s love and protection, while at the same time, Abraham absolutely trusted his Heavenly Father’s love to honor this tremendous flying leap of blind faith. If the sacrifice was completed and Isaac died at the hands of his father, Abraham knew that God’s mercy, compassion, and love would carry Sarah and him through the grief of losing their only child. Maybe he couldn’t even go there with his thoughts. All he could do was hold onto the certainty of what he hoped for and the belief of things he could not see, knowing that all things were possible with God.

Abraham’s free fall of blind faith got God’s attention. Faith always will. When, with childlike faith we put our plans, methods, and agendas aside and trust the Lord to move forward with HIS plan, impossibilities become possibilities. It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him (Hebrews 11:6 NLT).

The intensity of the free fall increased. When Isaac asked Abraham where the lamb for the burnt offering was, Abraham went deeper into the darkness of his blind faith and said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.”

Wow. Did it work? When we take a leap of blind faith into a bottomless pit of not knowing or seeing anything tangible, all we can do is trust in God, whose ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts. The New King James Version says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). The Greek meaning of “evidence” here is a demonstration: convincing proof to the believer; the soul thereby seeing what the eye cannot see (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary).

Here’s how Abraham’s free fall of faith played out: When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac, his son, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me” And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son (Genesis 22:6-13 ESV).

Are you in a free fall of blind faith now? Maybe the bottom has dropped out of your world, and you’re spiraling down into unknown places of fear and uncertainty. Do not be afraid. The Lord sees your faith and will meet you in the free fall!

“Am I a God who is only close at hand?” says the Lord, “No, I am far away at the same time” (Jeremiah 23:23 NLT). You might not find rubies, pearls, and diamonds as I did in my treasure chest dream, but God will reward you with other “gems” like peace, joy, comfort, protection, provision, healing—whatever impossible thing you might need.

© 2023, Chris Werre

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