As a young boy, I always had a fascination with climbing trees, especially apple trees. I’d climb up, pick the apples, eat a few, and then throw some down to my friends. However, I couldn’t get the really good apples, for they always seemed to be hanging out on a limb. I was a big kid, and when you hear the slight crack of a limb, you retreat to the trunk. I would never go very far out on a limb … but always played it safe. Fear of falling stole my chance to grab the really choice apples out on the edge of the limb.
Just like the apple tree, the juiciest rewards in life are on the end of the limb. I think sometimes God asks us to go out on that limb. Playing it “safe,” not going out on a limb, is sometimes how Satan wants you to engage with life. The cracking sound you hear as God calls you to the edge of the limb … that’s Satan calling out to you, trying to trick you into thinking that moving closer to God is dangerous and will bring pain. So keep your eyes on your Lord as you step out in faith. Grab His hand tightly as you edge your way, following Him out onto that limb.
Since He goes before you, you can keep your eyes on Him as you step out in faith. Soon you will arrive at a resting place. While gripping His hand, look toward the horizon. Enjoy the view from this tree-top perspective. You are actually safer here … out on this limb with your Lord … than you would be hugging the trunk, or even standing on the ground.
Overly familiar surroundings feel safer, but they may also lull you into a kind of sleepy self-reliance; and that’s when we tend to forget about the need for our Father.
Just remember the story of Abraham, waiting over 20 years for God to give him a son. Then God asks Abraham to go out on a limb and sacrifice his son, to actually kill Isaac. The juicy living Abraham was rewarded with … truly amazing, and would never have happened if Abraham had not followed God out to the very edge of the limb.
Today, when doing the right thing feels risky or uncomfortable, envision yourself climbing out on the limb, hearing the crackling of Satan’s call, but seeing God leading and holding your hand. Enjoy the activity and view it in a new way. In this new and challenging situation (out on a limb), you will be more alert and not so quick to let go of His hand. Your decision, choose well.
Dear Father God, You are the author and finisher of my faith. I want to follow You wherever You lead me … even if it’s out on a limb. I pray, Father, that You will help me follow You with confidence rather than with fear. For I know, Father, that wherever You lead me is the safest place I could be. I bring all my fears to You, Father, for I now know that fears not dealt with tend to grow and magnify themselves. I pray in the name of my Ultimate Life Guide and Protector, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children say – AMEN!
You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the plots of man; You shall keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.