We bring you a gem of a story today from Tom Camacho, our Coaching Coordinator for Multiply Vineyard. Tom and his wife Beth have been involved in planting four churches, most recently the Blue Ridge Vineyard in Asheville, NC in 2010. The two of them have four beautiful kids, a lovely daughter-in-law, and one amazing grandson. Tom, who has years of leadership in ministry, the military, and the corporate world, is known for his encouragement and the way he points others toward growth in Jesus, which I think comes through really clearly in this story. So read on, and be encouraged:
“The Lord GOD is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places.” Hab. 3:19
About a month ago my family was blessed with a couple days at Lake Jocasee in SC. It was our last summer fun event as a family before school started up. We had an absolute blast. One experience on that trip stands out to me. We were at one of the several beautiful waterfalls that surround the lake. My kids jumped out to explore the rocks around the waterfall. Not as agile as I used to be, I stayed back for a while. But the adventure of that beautiful scene and the chance to experience something fun with my kids kept pulling on me.
“Go higher. Climb up there. I have something up there for you,” I heard in my spirit. I felt like the Holy Spirit was speaking to me to take a risk and climb the waterfall. There was definitely some real danger involved, but I felt like I needed to leave my comfort zone and climb this tall waterfall covered in moss and slippery rocks. My kids had gone beyond my sight or hearing, and I longed to join them. So I started climbing. The climb was steep and slippery. I used a vine at one point like a climbing rope to help me get higher. My heart was really beating fast as I made the ascent.
I climbed until I reached the top of the next section of the waterfall and what I saw blew me away! There before me was one of the most beautiful cascading waterfalls I had ever seen (and I’ve seen a lot of them). The moment was a treasure that I got to share with my kids, who were already playing in that lovely waterfall. It was a scene I never would have been able to enjoy UNLESS I HAD MADE THE CLIMB.
As I sat there taking in the scene, I realized a powerful truth: If I want to go higher and experience life on a new level, I will have to take a risk to leave where I am and put in the effort needed to climb higher.
This truth dawned on me like a lovely sunrise. I realized how often my own fears had kept me from taking risks to embrace change. I saw in my past how I wasn’t willing to let go of where I was to move to a new place. I realized that my anxieties kept me from experiencing that new place. It was a sad thought. I began to wonder how many new things God has waiting for me at the “High Places” he has in my future. I got excited as I thought about the good things my loving Heavenly Father has waiting for me just above the next climb. I know it will take effort on my part to get there, but I am learning that the blessings there are well worth the climb!
It’s easy to let fear keep us stuck. It feels safer just to stay where we are instead of risking to try to go higher. But how much does God desire to give us that we could be missing? Who could we become in God if we let go and started climbing? We will never know if we don’t take the risk. We will never see what is up above the next rock unless we are willing to make the climb.
I encourage you today to take a new risk in this fall season. Try something new. Ask God to show you an area of growth He would like to explore. Take some steps to research, pray, read, or get some mentoring/coaching in that area. If fear crops up, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give you the strength and power to make the climb. He is the one that makes us walk on His High Places. (see today’s Scripture)
I’ve always loved adventure and rock climbing. I’m getting older now, and I don’t have the strength I once had. But I still love the climb and the anticipation of seeing something new when I get to that next level. Let’s go higher with God this fall. I know there are some great things up there for us to see!
Where do you feel God is calling you into a higher place? How do you overcome the fear of the risk? We’d love to hear your story in the comments below.