I stood on the edge of the cliff. It was precision cut, no jagged edges. I stood there looking down into the deep abyss. I could hear noises coming from the abyss; they were scary and howling. In the distance I could hear a voice, a soothing voice. In my head it sounded like warmth and safety, but my heart distrusted this voice. At the time I believed the owner of this voice to be unkind and unloving. The voice was saying “Cheryl step off the cliff, come over to the other side”. I froze with panic. Tears rolled down my cheeks and I shivered with fear. I came out of this vision shaken. Why would God ask me to do this? Doesn’t He love me?
Over two years later I stood on the edge of the same precision cut cliff, with the same dark abyss and scary noises. I could hear a voice call out to me, “Cheryl step off the cliff, come over to the other side to me”. My feelings were a mixture of fear and anticipation. I knew this voice; it was the sound of warmth and safety. I knew it was a voice I could trust. Despite my fear I very gingerly took a step off the precipice. Defying gravity I stood in the air on an invisible ‘bridge’. As I continued to take steps the scary noises got louder, I looked down to see things grabbing at my feet. I was struck with fear and I stood still feeling like I was going to fall. I heard a voice say look for Jesus. I looked up and there in front of me was Jesus with His arms outstretched. The fear left and I took big steps to Him taking hold of His hands. I was on the other side. Walking off of that cliff took faith to believe that my God was a loving God who wouldn’t bring me to harm. It also took an action; I had to take the first step of obedience.
What was the purpose of walking across the cliff? Was it just an exercise in facing fear? No, it was a step on the journey. Jesus didn’t just leave me there. What happened next continues to be one of the most special moments I have ever had with God. I continued to walk with Jesus, in which, He took me right up to the throne of God the Father. There before me was Father God, He was glorious. He was big! He gestured for me to come sit on His lap. When I sat on his lap, His arms wrapped around me and I was surrounded by light. He gave me the biggest, cuddliest hug I have ever had! I felt many things at that time. Some which I cannot describe with words. I felt warm, safe and loved. When I leant on His chest I heard His ‘heart’. His heart spoke of His deep love for me. It cried out, “At long last my little girl whom I love is with me”. It was a desperate love that spoke of how broken he had been at our separation. I looked up into His face. It shone brighter than the sun. When I looked into His bright eyes I could see ‘deep waters’ of compassion and an overflowing of indescribable love. I discovered that day how desperately He loves His most prized creation humanity. He is broken by the separation that sin has created. I have never known such incredible love!
It may have taken two years to get to this place, but I am glad that Jesus took me back to the precipice. My lack of understanding of God and my own personal fear had kept me from the one thing that I needed the most: God himself.