“..we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.”
2 Nephi 25:23
One night, about a year ago, I went with a group of friends to explore one of our favorite spots in the mountains. As we were walking around we came upon a small stream with a large tree branching over it. The tree had a smooth dead branch hanging down above the stream that looked just low enough to grab, but only if I ran and jumped. The problem was, if I missed, or couldn’t hold on tight enough, I would land in the stream. There were also no guarantees I would land in the stream on my feet… I decided to go for it because what is life if you never try things to find out what you’re capable of? The first attempt I slipped in the mud and got my shoe a little wet. Big deal. That just meant my adrenaline was now pumping full bore and I was either grabbing that branch or going home wet. The next attempt I forgot all about the possibility of falling in the water, focused only on the branch, and committed 100%. Honestly, I was a little surprised when I looked up and saw I was gripping the branch.
None of us can jump high enough to get into heaven, figuratively and literally. There is no way to make it there on our own. Christ has given us each a branch to grab so that we can climb back up to heaven. That branch is grace. It is by grace that we are saved after ALL we can do.
Merely believing is not enough. We have to have faith that we can do it. If we are afraid of missing and let fear take over, we’ll never be able to grab it. But if we replace our fear with faith and focus only on God, we will find that focus we need to jump and grab on to that branch.
I believe also that each person’s branch is a different hight above the ground. Some people can jump higher than others. That’s just how it is. Christ is aware of that and has put our own individual branches at the highest point we can jump. It isn’t going to be easy for us to grab, but it’s possible if we push ourselves to do our best.