“The Salchow is a figure skating jump with a takeoff from a back inside edge of one foot. The rotation in the air is made in the direction of the curve of the take-off edge. The landing is made on the back outside edge of he foot opposite the one used for take-off. One or more rotations may be made in the air. It was invented by the Swedish skater Ulrich Salchow in 1909.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salchow_jump#Variants
Say what you will about the figure skating competitions in Sochi this year. I’ve heard it all – the judging controversies, the conspiracy theories on why who won what, AND all the talk about Tara and Johnny as the up and coming ice skating commentator Queen and King (my goodness, I LOVE those two)! Let all that fade for a moment and we are left with something beautiful, aren’t we?
We are left to marvel at the pure artistry of the sport.
I’ve never been a coordinated ice skater. If you are, please don’t tell me because that will just make me jealous and I honestly do NOT want to go there! But even though I’ve never mastered the backward skate, let alone a spin, I’m bewitched by the strength, the spectacle, and the beauty of it all.
Especially the dazzling jump known as the Salchow.
It’s supposedly one of the most difficult tricks to master because you go into the jump “blind” and cannot see where you are going to land. The skater need to trust that all her training, all her practice, and everything she’s done to get her this far is going to get her exactly where she needs to be to land…on her feet, with grace.
Isn’t it just like our God to groom us for such a jump? A leap of faith, you might say.
You see, if the skater were to take off into midair, only to begin flailing her arms, legs, and body in distrust of her training and the One who had trained her for this moment, that landing would not be a graceful one.
But if she stays full of confident peace, reliant on the training and instruction she has received exactly for this moment, she soars with her head held high, holding her position through the lift, spin, and free fall, landing firmly on the ground without a single wobble.
Grace in motion.
This week, as we continue studying the Psalms of the Ascent, the Psalmist brings the reality of the dangers and anxieties of this life to the forefront in Psalm 124. (Click here to read it yourself!)
Here’s why God is so cool. In one amazing Psalm, He turns danger on its head and lets us in on a pretty amazing fact:
“The danger is real, but so is the rescue.” Josh Moody, Journey to Joy: The Psalms of the Ascent.
Life continually throws us up in the air and creates new circumstances and complications every time we turn around. What will we do in those moments? What will define our trust in God? Will we flail about and freak out because we’ve been thrown somewhere and don’t know where we will land? Or will we use the wisdom we’ve been graced with all along to help us stay tight in the jump and land on our feet, secure in the knowledge that He’s got us?
And let me be REALLY clear here. He’s GOT us. There is nothing that can happen during that Salchow that throws Him off unless we willingly choose to freak out. That’s our control issues sending us off kilter, sweet friends, not Him. But if we stay tight to the jump, eyes on Him? Perfect landing!
How do I know? The BIBLE tells me so.
Our God is the God of Rescue. The ultimate story of rescue comes directly from Jesus. WE are the rescued. HE is the rescuer. Never in the history of the world has there been another story like His. He died for our sins and was resurrected to grace us with everlasting life. Why? Because He loves us like no one else ever has, ever could, ever will.
With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2, MSG
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39, NLT
Our God is the God of Rescue. He’s got us. If we can just learn to stand faithful and firm, staying strong in what we know to be true, we WILL land that jump on our feet, fists pumped in the air, with God smiling by our sides.
Whatever the danger, God has a rescue plan. And it’s beautifully perfect.
Take a few minutes this week and have a listen/look at TobyMac’s great song, “Steal My Show”!
Keep working on your Stepping Up book and remember to focus on Intentionally Thanking God this week (click here for a refresher!).
Peace, Love, and JOY!
Up next week: Hearing Aids for Fluff Filled Ears