“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” James 1:2-4 (Message)
The word parachute comes from the French prefix paracete, originally from the Greek, meaning to protect against. Chute, the French word for fall placed with paracete forms a word meaning “that which protects against a fall.” A parachute rigger is a person who is trained to maintain, pack and repair parachutes, applying their understanding of fabrics, webbing, sewing, packing, and other aspects. The work accomplished before the ripcord is pulled determines the failure or success of the fall.
The same is with our faith according to the work we invest. There are certain elements of our faith that we claim to possess but really cannot be proven until life goes wrong. ‘James says that in tough times our faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors…No matter what you say you believe, or what others think you believe, there’s no hiding or pretending when the bottom falls out…An untested faith is an unreliable faith.’ Choose Joy, Kay Warren.
None of us would grab an untested parachute when contemplating a jump. We would want confidence that when the ripcord was pulled the parachute would successfully perform. We want to know that when needed, the chute will open displaying the beautiful colors of the silk, and that our landing will be soft. In regard to our faith, we must study the Word, be trained in the truths, pack our life full of confidence in God. We need to be people who prepare for the fall…faith-ready Christians when life nudges us out of the plane. We gain more confidence with each fall, perfecting our faith through each experience. We can stand at the door of the flight securely grasping our ripcord of faith. Our confidence during the fall is the knowledge and complete belief in God providing a secure and safe landing. I can just picture the spiritual skies peppered with thousands of deployed parachutes displaying the gorgeous colors of faith.