I’m happy to introduce Karin Harper to you. Karin Harper serves on staff at Gateway Church as a Grow Pastor in South/Central Austin. Check her out on Twitter @karinharper.
Karin is one of the brightest souls I know. She has a contagious energy, positive attitude, and magnetic personality. Her life is a shining example of a faith rooted in deep trust.
The other day I was reading Psalm 63 and came across verse 8.
“My soul clings to you; Your right hand upholds me.”
As I read it I was instantly transported back to Spain to an experience I had while I lived there.
I worked with youth in Spain for 4 years, helping them investigate if there’s a God and if He could be real in their lives. You have to understand that youth in Spain is quite relative. It spans from ages 13-35. This was advantageous for me since I was in my 30s, but still fell into the “youth” category.
We organized an ice skating event for the youth and there was nothing that could prepare me for what I would experience when we got to the ice skating rink. In Spain, they do pretty much everything in “mass”, but it was hilarious to me to embark on an ice skating rink that was relatively small in size, but somehow fit 100s of Spanish ice skaters at all different skill levels and speeds. I was sure this was about to be quite the adventure.
Several of the youth had never ice skated before, but many of them ventured out on their own to embark on this new skill they were soon to “master”. Not so with sweet 13-year-old, Aida. She was not about to go at this alone. She hung onto my right arm so tightly that I was sure to have bruises the next day. She literally was hanging on for dear life. And when she was about to fall, she somehow managed to do a 180 & end up right in front of me embracing me. This very same trick happened about 15 times throughout the night. (I still to this day think it has to be easier to just skate in a straight line than to do a 180 on skates & end up skating backwards right in front of me, but hey).
As the night went on, Aida grew in her confidence and by the end of the night, she hardly lost her balance at all. But she continued to cling to my arm. She saw improvement and by the end of the night, was asking when we were going to do this again.
For me, this experience was more than a night of laughs and bruises. It was a profound lesson in what it looks like to cling to God. I found myself reflecting on how much I really cling to God for dear life. I wanted Him to invite me into more adventures where I’d have to cling to Him or I was gonna fall flat on my face. He encouraged me with the thought of how trustworthy He would be if I ventured out with Him. He promised me that if I clung to Him and at any point felt like I was gonna fall, I could turn into His arms and be embraced and safely carried.
How are you doing at clinging to God? What adventure is God calling you into? Are you willing to enjoy the thrill of walking into uncharted territory with Him? Do you trust that His embrace will be strong enough & tender enough when times get tough?