Monthly Letter

The Vicarage

Dear Friends

Rock-climbing outdoors for the first time in a while the other evening, I felt a little shaky. There’s a maxim in climbing that you must ‘trust your feet’, which is all well and good until you are forced to do so when you aren’t sure your feet won’t slip! If you don’t trust your feet, you are actually more likely to slip, and you also end up unable to hold on because you grip too hard with your fingers and put too much effort through your arms.

However, choosing to trust your feet not to slip is quite counter-intuitive when a slipping foot is precisely the cause of concern. And this was my problem the other evening, half way up a crack at Baildon Bank quarry. The tendency is to hang on your hands and rely less on your feet; when really what you need to do is slip your foot sideways into the crack, twist it, and then jam it horizontal so there is lots of foot being held tight in the rock’s grasp. You can then step up confidently, not exhausting your hands trying to cling on desperately, but instead trusting the rock to bear your weight.

Our Christian faith is very similar. It is those times when life is tricky that we struggle to trust God and question whether our belief will be able to hold us under the pressure. And yet, it is at those times that we, almost counter-intuitively, need to jam ourselves most securely into God’s grasp and trust God to hold us as we stand. The alternative is that we end up expending lots of energy in anxiety, stress, and practical worries and wear ourselves out trying to fix or control a situation which is really out of our hands.

For many of us we need to learn again to spiritually ‘trust our feet’. To take that step of faith which places us at the mercy of God’s care. To step up trusting him to carry us, and to see, with every experience, that God will never let us down.

Just like I had to learn to trust my feet on a sunny evening on Baildon Bank.

The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer,
my God, my rock in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

                                                                                   Psalm 18:2









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