Trapeze Artist Faith

Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” – Mark 5:34

Casting His Net | Galveston, Texas | August 2020

I like to think of faith in terms of trapeze artists. An experienced high-flyer is swinging from trapeze to trapeze and misses his mark. As he’s falling he is confident that the net below will catch him and prevent a terrible accident. Sadly, however, over the years the net has worn. Some vital parts of the support structure are hanging on only by a thread. In fact, it won’t hold a bowling ball if dropped onto it. Will the intrepid trapeze artist’s faith save him?

Another trapeze artist is not so confident. Before she went up high, she checked down low. The net was secure. All the support structure members were solid and well anchored. As she climbed the ladder her fear did not subside, but she went ahead. As she stepped toward the swing, the platform gave way and she fell. As she was falling, she hoped the net would catch her. She had enough faith to go up, but had doubts coming down. Would it catch her? Yes. It was solid. It was well-anchored. It was strong. It would hold.

The strength of faith is in its object. When we believe in God we place our trust in One who is wholly trustworthy. Reliable. Faithful. Faith in the One who lived, died and rose for us is a faith that will be honored. It will hold. For its object is powerful and true.

Faith’s strength is in God – not the believer. There are times when our faith seems to be the thinnest strand on which hang heavy weights of worry, woe, and fear. But it’s not the faith itself that avails. It’s the one in whom we put our faith. Faith saves because of its object. 

Faith honors God. It focuses attention away from ourselves and looks for the most noble and praiseworthy aspects of God’s nature. It lays hold of God’s goodness, mercy, love, and grace.

You can believe as hard as you want in the Great Purple Mother Cricket (a college friend of mine claimed to believe in that). But that faith will not prevail. But if you barely brush against Jesus in faith your whole life can change. 

And once changed, you’ll find yourself going back again and again to the wellspring of grace, love, hope, healing, mercy, and salvation. In faith. 

Fuller context of this moment:

Jesus went with the synagogue ruler, and all the people followed, crowding around him. A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.

Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”

His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”

But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” – Mark 5:24-34

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