My struggling faith, Edward Mote’s Solid Rock and freefalling into the Grand Canyon.


The Grand Canyon.

First time we met, I was in my mid-twenties. All my friends ran laughing and screaming to her jagged edge.

I stared into the face of her glory.

  • 227 miles long.
  • 18 miles across.
  • One mile deep.

Then, I backed away.

Not the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Once I made it to the van, I huddled inside and prayed that my friends would not fall over the side.

Thirty minutes later, they clamored into the van. I didn’t mind the jostling and teasing. Considering the awesome proportions of the canyon, it was a miracle they survived.

When I returned to School that fall, a conversation reinforced my fears.. An administrator told me about a friend’s trip to the Grand Canyon. How it ended in tragedy. The friend stood too close to the edge. A gust of wind caught her off-balance.

She went over the side.

Not going to happen to me, I vowed. I was never going back. And, I never did.

A few nights ago, I saw a Television special that unnerved me. It was about a glass bridge that engineers built over the Grand Canyon.

Of course, this was no Winnie The Pooh stick bridge.

The horseshoe shaped marvel that curved 70 feet out from the west rim was made of

  • 1 million pounds of steel,
  • 64,000 pounds of glass

It was strong enough to hold the weight of 71 fully loaded 747 airplanes.

I watched footage of people attempting to walk the bridge.

  • Forget the colossal amount of glass and steel.
  • Forget it’s unique deign.

The 2.5 inches of crystal clear glass under their feet freaked them out.

Women, men and kids clutched the railing to keep from plunging to their death.

Mind you, there was no danger of cracking glass or snapping steel.

The bridge just did not feel safe.

Although it was just a show, I clenched my fists like I was holding onto the side of the bridge.

I’ve had enough practice.

Feeling like I’m about to free fall into disaster.

How many time have I heard Proverbs 3:5 quoted?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding.”

I figure that leaning on my own understanding is my solid ground. Trusting in the Lord without knowing what is going on feels like tumbling over the edge of the Grand Canyon.

There is a big chance I will not survive.

In 1834, a cabinetmaker named Edward Mote turned his theology into song.

“On Christ the Solid rock I stand,” he wrote, “All other ground is sinking sand.”

Not the kind of solid ground I was counting on.

Christ was a glass bridge.

  • Strong
  • Unmovable

But, often invisible. Hard to trust when I was overwhelmed by circumstances. 

Maybe Edward felt the same sensation. This spiraling down into nothingness.

“When all around my soul gives way,” Edward wrote, “He then is all my hope and stay.”

What have you felt give way?

Finances? Relationships? Your health?

Are you like me? Clutching the railing with my eyes closed? Or, do you let go? Step out in Faith?

I’d love to know.

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