A man named Jack was walking along a steep cliff one day when he accidentally got too close to the edge and fell. On the way down he grabbed a branch, which temporarily stopped his fall. He looked down, and to his horror, he saw that the canyon fell straight down for more than a thousand feet. He couldn't hang onto the branch forever, and there was no way for him to climb up the steep wall of the cliff. So Jack began yelling for help, hoping that someone passing by would hear him and lower a rope or something.
"HELP! HELP! IS ANYONE UP THERE? HELP!"
He yelled for a long time, but no one heard him. He was beginning to lose both his grip on the branch and all hope of being rescued when suddenly he heard a voice out of nowhere calling to him...
"Jack, Jack. Can you hear me?"
Hopeful once again, Jack hollered out, "Yes! Yes! I can hear you! I'm down here on the side of the cliff! Can you see me?"
"I can see you, Jack."
Looking up, Jack didn't see anyone, so he shouted, "Who... who are you, and… and where are you?"
"I am the Lord, Jack. I am everywhere."
Stunned at what he just heard, Jack thought his mind was playing tricks on him in his hour of desperation. "The... the Lord? You mean, GOD?"
"Yes, I AM."
"Oh thank God!" Jack said with a big sigh of relief. "God, please help me! If you get me down from here, I promise I will stop sinning. I will be a really good person and I will serve You for the rest of my life.
"Easy on the promises, Jack. First let's get you on solid ground, then we can talk. Now, here's what I want you to do. Listen carefully."
"I will do anything, Lord. Just tell me what to do."
"Okay. Let go of the branch."
"I said, let go of the branch. Trust Me and let go."
There was a long silence. Finally Jack yelled, "HELP! HELP! IS ANYONE ELSE UP THERE?"
Have you ever felt like Jack? We say that we want to know the will of God, but when we find out what it is, we can't handle it because it sounds too scary or too difficult -- so we decide to look elsewhere.
When God tells us to, "Let go of the things that stand between you and Me, and trust Me with your life," it sounds pretty scary. But when we let go, we find freedom and safety in His hands.
Through the prophet Jeremiah, God said,
Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.
But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
Jeremiah 17:5-8, New International Version.