On June 15, 2012, Nik Wallenda became the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a high wire. He walked over the massive cascade of water from the United States to the Canadian side.
Step by step he moved above the falls, while beneath him, nearly 5.7 million liters of water rushed powerfully over a 200 foot drop each second. He took a little under 30 minutes to traverse the 1800 foot distance over the falls. Wind and mist pounded him from all sides. Even though he was required to wear a safety tether, he didn’t have to use it…
…because while accomplishing this feat, he relied heavily on the balancing pole he carried, which was harnessed around his shoulders.
During this Christmas season, I was led to explore fresh insights about Jesus and the changes His life produced. While meditating before the Lord, I suddenly started thinking about Nik Wallenda’s walk across Niagara. I waited to see if it was a passing thought generated by my random mind, a distraction, or the Lord showing me something. I realized quickly the Holy Spirit was giving me a visual lesson about one of the changes Jesus has provided to believers, who are willing to accept it. Jesus didn’t just come to live among us, He came bringing changes that bless our lives. The larger concepts of salvation, justification, redemption and deliverance are all changes for our blessing, but I want to focus on a change I call balance.
The Niagara Falls of life are always potentially ahead, for each of us. We walk through our days with countless decisions to make… what, when where, or who. Our overall well-being (which includes relationships, health, finances, maturity, safety, stability, comfort, security, happiness) lies before us like a tight rope. If we lose the balance, we tumble off that tight rope of harmony and peace, and into the turmoil. One careless move can cause pain and suffering within a blink of eye; one misguided decision can send us into debt or destroy a relationship. Some have developed skills to keep up the balance of life themselves. With much concentration, they take one step at a time on that high wire, using the balancing poles of education, common sense, fame, wealth, resourcefulness, creativity, or just plain bull-dog tenacity, all of which can be valuable in varying degrees.
Seemingly, this skilled high wire act appears to do well, until eventually a gust of life’s winds or the fog of life’s mist attack their balance. During these pressing conditions, it becomes obvious the balancing pole being used is not enough for the completion of this journey over tumultuous falls. Education will eventually reach a peak. Common sense will get tripped up by inexperience. Fame and wealth fade away. Resourcefulness and creativity hit blank walls and discouragement, and that bull-dog tenacity becomes weary and unfocused.
When Jesus came to fulfill God’s love for humanity, God gave us the greatest gift, Himself. Jesus made a way, through His Spirit within us, for us to access His unlimited abilities, and we gain a supernatural balancing pole. We have every skill needed to live balanced lives, through His power working in us, to walk over the turmoil and even to experience the beauty of life despite the troubles. I imagine Nik Wallenda had an amazing view of the beauty of Niagara. God’s work is always beautiful, whether it is His creative work, like the physical beauty Niagara Falls, or through His creative work within us spiritually.
Matthew 1:21 Amplified Bible (AMP)
21 She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus [the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, which means Savior], for He will save His people from their sins [that is, prevent them from failing and missing the true end and scope of life, which is God].
Nik Wallenda did not start across Niagara without a balancing pole and then suddenly realize he needed it. That is why he didn’t have to use the safety tether to prevent him from falling. He assessed his inability to walk that high wire without the pole before he ever stepped on it, and he totally relied on the balancing pole the entire way. Consistent peace in life comes when we prepare our hearts to realize our need for Jesus, and our willingness to depend on, and receive the blessing of balance through Him. It isn’t about waiting until all our resources are proven inadequate, it is starting the walk across life’s traps and pitfalls, knowing it can only be accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Matthew 11:28-30 Amplified Bible (AMP)
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.
30 For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.
Many of us have experienced a tumble off life’s high wire. I know I’ve gotten wet many times, as I dangled above life threatening waters, saved by His grace alone. Had it not been for the safety tether of God’s saving, sustaining grace, I would have fallen completely into the turmoil, never to have recovered. But, praise God He loves us and watches over us in such a way that He is able to rescue us from the foolishness of not relying on Jesus to balance our lives.
Galatians 5:25 Amplified Bible (AMP)
25 If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit.]
My heart yearns to live a life patterned after Nik Wallenda’s balancing ability, entrusting my life to the balance provided by Jesus, not needing to be rescued from the waters of despair, because He helps me walk over them.
John 16:33 Amplified Bible (AMP)
33 I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]
Connecting, with love