Tallulah Gorge lures countless tourists through her breathtaking beauty and challenging terrain. While on a family vacation, several of us scored some of the 100 allotted daily permits to hike to the gorge floor. We stopped to marvel at breathtaking waterfalls, crossed a suspension bridge and descended 1,099 metal stairs to reach the gorge floor. We continued the dangerous trek 1000-feet deep into the gorge floor and climbed through the boulder-filled Sliding Rock Trail to the Bridal Falls Waterfall.
Once you've arrived, you can use that coveted ticket to slide down the boulders and swim in Bridal Falls. It's spectacular! Tallulah Gorge may not be on your bucket list too, but we still have one thing in common: We won't get through life without courage. The demanding—and rewarding—experience reminded me of three choices we can all make when life demands courage.
Seize the opportunity. Too often, we say no to a challenge because the sacrifice is too high, and the cost is too great. But when we do, we run the risk of missing a God-moment. Ask God for the courage to share your story with someone who needs Christ. Take every opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.
Stay low to the ground. The best advice we received during our training orientation was to "stay low to the ground." Most injuries come when people try to stand up and walk when the slippery, rough terrain requires a low center of gravity. It's better to come out with a sore backside and bruised palms than a concussion or broken bones. Center yourself by staying low to the ground through consistent prayer and worship.
Don't quit. Unable to see the top as we scaled the 45-degree angled stone wall, we wondered if it would ever end. Perhaps you're trekking through the arduous, last quarter-mile of a trial. Don't quit; victory is just ahead.
Sometimes, life feels an awful lot like Sliding Rock Trail. Relationships get rocky. Financial challenges get slippery. Health problems plague our path. Perhaps you're facing a situation that's asking more of you than you think is humanly possible. Psalm 18:31b-32, 35-36 (NIV) encourages us to find our bravery in Jesus: "And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. ... You make Your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way." God gives us courage for life's trials.
Editor's Note: On Mondays during June and July, Angela Donadio shares some of her favorite stories from her most recent book, Astounded: Encountering God in Everyday Moments, on Make Life Matter on Charisma Podcast Network. Listen to this episode for an unforgettable story and more on finding courage when you need it most.
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