Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Nic Wallenda, The Great Blondin, Niagara Falls, and what they can teach you about faith

One main trending topic this past week was a tightrope walk. On Friday night, Nik Wallenda walked across a high wire over the Niagara Falls. Most Canadians and Americans are very aware of that amazing feat. But maybe you didn't know that Wallenda wears a cross around his neck every time he walks the high wire. It isn't just a fashion statement. It's a message about his faith in Christ. 

Walenda once said, "I grew up in a born-again Christian family - a Bible-believing, God-fearing family. That's the way I was raised and I find comfort and peace in that. God's hand is involved in every step of my life. I pray and I talk to God a lot and I find peace in that. That's how I can remain calm when people would think I could go nuts. That's why I try to live an upright life and I try to be an example to everybody."

Wallenda's faith in Christ was evident as he walked over the falls on Friday. He had a microphone and could talk with his dad in a control room. You could hear Wallenda praying, "O, Lord, You're my Savior. You're my King. You're my Jesus. You're my wisdom. You're my rest. Thank you Jesus. Thank You, Lord. Praise You, my Father." 

That is a moving example of praying without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17). Wallenda's praying inspires me to walk and talk with God more consistently. Wallenda's effort inspires faith. 

Over the years, another man's walk over another part of the falls has inspired the faith of many people in a different way. Wallenda, of course, wasn't the first to cross the Falls.

Back in the 19th century, a performer named Jean Francois Gravelot was known as "The Great Blondin." He was a tightrope walker who performed amazing, death-defying stunts.

Blondin's greatest fame came in June of 1859 when he attempted to become the first person to cross a tightrope stretched over a quarter of a mile across the Niagara Falls.

He walked across 160 feet above falls several times. Each time was a different daring feat. He even carried a stove and cooked an omelet!

On one occasion, he asked for the participation of a volunteer.

A large crowd gathered and a buzz of excitement ran along both sides of the river bank. The crowd “Oooohed!” and “Aaaaahed!” as Blondin carefully walked across one dangerous step after another -- pushing a wheelbarrow.

Blondin suddenly stopped and addressed his audience: "Do you believe I can carry a person across in this wheelbarrow?" The crowd shouted, "Yes. You are the greatest tightrope walker in the world. We believe! We believe."

"Okay," said Blondin, "Who will get in the wheelbarrow? Who among you is willing to ride inside of the wheelbarrow and allow me to push you as I cross on this tightrope?" The crowd went silent. No one said a word. No one volunteered. No one really believed enough to get into the wheelbarrow. No one was willing.

The story of The Great Blondin paints a real life picture of what faith really is. The crowd had watched his daring feats. They said they believed. But their actions proved they truly didn't.

It's one thing for us to say we believe in God. It's true faith, though, when we believe God and put our faith and trust in His Son, Jesus Christ.

We may say we believe, but when Jesus says, "Follow Me," we don't move. When He says, "Obey," we continue doing whatever we want. And when He says, "Let me show you the way," we act like we don't even hear Him.

If Christ is your Lord and Savior, let Him carry you. Trust Him to lead the way. Give your life completely over to Him and let Him guide you and direct your steps. He won't let you down!

Jesus has carried many across to Heaven's gates. He can be trusted! Ask yourself, “Am I riding in Jesus’ wheelbarrow?”

Receive Christ. Believe in Jesus.

A prayer might express your faith. Simply pray, "Lord Jesus, I believe You are God, the Son. I believe You died on the cross in my place to pay the punishment for my sin. I believe You rose again. Right now, I turn from my sin. I receive You, Jesus, as my Savior and Lord. I am getting into Your wheelbarrow! Only You can take me to safety. Where You want me to go, I will go. I am trusting You and You alone to save me. Change me and make me the person You want me to be. In Jesus' name, Amen."

If you prayed that prayer, congratulations! Leave a comment below to let me know. I would love to send you some information to help you grow in your relationship with Christ.

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