Many years ago I read a book by Gail Blanke called BETWEEN TRAPEZES.
The book is about letting go of what’s behind you in order to grasp all that’s ahead of you.
The analogy given is that of a trapeze artist you would see at a big-top circus.
They seem to swing aimlessly and effortlessly at great heights, confident in their talent and ability, but then comes the gasp from the audience as the artist lets go of his trapeze and would appear to be aimlessly falling through the air – when suddenly, he reaches out and the timing is perfect! Another trapeze comes swinging right towards him, he grasps a hold of it and the crowd erupt with cheers, as what looked like him falling was actually him soaring and was always part of the plan.
He had to let go of one trapeze in order to get hold of another, and I think this is a great picture of life.
You can’t get hold of something new if you can’t let go of the familiar you’re holding on to.
Think about that trapeze artist, to keep hold of one swing whilst grabbing onto another would rip him in half!
God has so much to share with us in our lifetime, so much He wants to accomplish in us and through us, the problem is we want to keep a hold of the ‘old’ until we know the ‘new’ is going to work out for us.
We want to keep hold of;
The boyfriend – though his morals and values are different to yours;
That group of friends – though they’ve not got the same belief system as you;
The way we think – though we know its prideful and judgemental;
We want to keep hold of the way we’ve always operated in our relationships, finances and marriages.
Actually, what we want is to keep hold of two worlds – we want more of God and the life He has set out for us, but we also want to keep hold of the way we’ve always done things. It’s like we need God to be there when we need Him – but we also want to do what we want – when we want!
Well, keeping hold of two ways of life will eventually kill you!
I want to take a moment to look in part, at the life of Jochebed.
Jochebed was Moses’s mother and most of her story is recorded in the first ten verses of Exodus 2.
We often think this is a story about Moses but actually I think the true hero (heroine) in this passage, is his mother.
Jochebed did a brave and courageous thing that cost her immensely.
Moses was born at a time the Israelites were in captivity to Egypt. The crazy insecure Pharaoh was concerned a great ruler would one day rise up out of the Israelite people, so in order to prevent this from happening he ordered every male child under the age of 2 years old to be killed.
Jochebed hid her baby so that the King’s officials didn’t know of his existence.
However, as the baby grew, so too did his lungs, and his mother knew she could no longer keep him hidden away.
Think about it, this young mum loved her baby boy, deeply and passionately as only a mother’s love can love – but she also had a faith in one whose love for her baby she could never match – she knew that God had given her this child and therefore God must want him to live also.
Letting go of the thing you so desperately want to keep hold of can be difficult and emotionally painful – like the weaning process of a child.
The child cries for the mother’s milk because it’s all he’s ever known, but the mother knows in order for the child to grow and develop he has to leave the milk behind.
When we can give to God that thing we most want to hold on to, He knows how difficult, how painful it can be for us but He also sees this process of WEANING as WORSHIP to Him.
When Moses was three months old Jochebed knew her situation had to change, though she didn’t want to, she knew that unless she surrendered her boy in faith to God, the baby she loved most would be taken by force and killed.
When you are giving something over to God, placing the thing you love the most in His hands it always requires action and initiative on your behalf;
We cannot say – if God wants this relationship to end, it will just end;
We cannot say – if God wants me to have a job, He’ll make the phone ring;
We cannot say – God will keep me safe in the car and choose not to wear our seatbelt!
God is God and yes, He can do anything. If He wanted to grow a crop of wheat in the middle of a concrete carpark He could – but it’s not how He works, God would expect the farmer to use the seed and ground at his disposal and THEN He would bless the work of the farmers hands.
Jochebed did not randomly throw her baby into the river Nile and say ‘if God wants this baby to live then He will save him’! That’s not trusting God, that’s testing God!
She weaved together a little basket and sealed it with pitch and put the child in the basket and laid it amongst the reeds in the river. Then, with tears rolling down her face and an ache in her heart she fell to the ground and worshipped God … ‘God I surrender to you my everything and by faith I believe you’ll do something.’
In this moment Jochebed was BETWEEN TRAPEZES; she had let go of one thing but had not yet gained hold (or sight) of the new thing God was doing.
Gods response to the faith of this woman who dared to trust Him, sets in motion a whole chain of wonderful events to accomplish His purpose and His plan in honour to her faith.
- He moved upon the heart of a pagan princess (daughter of Pharoah) when she came to bathe at the waters-edge she spotted the baby.
- By some miracle Pharaoh waived the death sentence for this one child and allowed his daughter to raise him in the palace.
But let me tell you, genuine faith also has rewards;
A nurse from amongst the Hebrew women was required to nurture and feed the baby. By a sequence of supernatural events that nurse was Jochebed. In fact, the goodness and the mercy of God were so great that this mother was even paid for nursing her own child.
This is a clear example of how God gives, provides and answers more abundantly than we could ever ask of think (Ephesians 3:20).
something new we are going to have a season of free fall – where you’re not sure if it’s going to work out or not but if your free fall is in faith then you have an assuredly that ‘God’s got this! He has a greater plan for the future than what we can see in the now.’