Let me tell you a story about what it looks like to hang on to Jesus. It just might be what you need to do today.
Blondin” was the stage name for Frenchman Jean-Francois Gravelet. He was a young man who migrated to the United States with a troupe of acrobats employed by Master Showman P.T. Barnum. In 1858, the thirty-five-year-old Blondin visited Niagara Falls as a tourist and there conceived the preposterous idea of walking across it. In his mind’s eye, he saw himself walking between the two countries, the United States and Canada over the great gorge on nothing more than a rope pathway taut between the two.
Harry Colcord became Blondin’s agent and promoter, selling his product, “The Great Blondin!” On June 30, 1859, Blondin planned to make his first historic trek across the falls.
A 1,300-foot long, three-inch diameter manila rope stretched from one side of the gorge to the other. It sagged about twenty feet in the middle of the span and bounced about with the constant wind.
Hundreds of men and women gathered to watch this incredible act of bravery or madness, they didn’t know which. With mingled emotions of fear and faith, the crowd watched as the acrobat stepped out in silk tights and a smile. A quarter of the way out over the great expanse, Blondin stopped, laid down on the rope, then appeared to take a quick nap.
Then he bounced up handlessly and proceeded to walk the rope. At one point, he even did a backflip and landed soundly on the rope to continue his jaunt. When he arrived triumphant on the Canadian side twenty minutes later, applause from both banks momentarily drowned out the roar of the Falls.
Blondin accepted a glass of champagne, did a little dance on the rope, and walked back across to the American side in a mere eight minutes. Those watching noted that Blondin appeared to be one with the rope. If the rope bounced, he bounced. If the rope swayed, he swayed.
As time passed, Blondin made many more crossings over Niagara Falls. Each crossing promised more aggressive and daring stunts: walking backwards, walking on stilts, riding a bicycle, pushing a small stove in a wheelbarrow while cooking an omelet, and standing on his head in a chair. One day Blondin announced to his agent his intention to perform his most grand and daring stunt yet—taking a man across on his back.
Harry thought that was an ingenious idea, but no one volunteered, not even for a hefty sum. So Blondin had the idea that he would carry his agent, Harry!
Blondin took the terrified Harry by the hand and led him to the rope as 100,000 spectators looked on. Mechanically, Colcord mounted Blondin’s back, wrapped his arms around his neck, and placed his feet into harnessed stirrups on either side of Blondin’s hips.
As Blondin stepped out onto the rope, Colcord grasped him so tightly he could barely breathe. Harry later remembered the moment:
“Out over that horrible gulf I heard the roar of the water below and the hum which ran through the crowd…Blondin halted at the last resting point before the middle span and yelled above the roar of water and wind, “Harry, you are no longer Colcord; you are Blondin. Until I clear this place, be a part of me—mind, body, and soul. If I sway, sway with me. Do not attempt to do any balancing yourself. If you do we shall both go down to our death.’”
The good news is that the two men made it to the other side.
Why did I tell you this story? Because we are in a similar situation as we walk the tightrope of life. Just as Blondin carried Harry, so Jesus carries us—from earth’s soil to heaven’s gate. When we try to balance on our own, we run the risk of tipping over into various Niagara Falls of circumstances. We struggle for balance when the real work is clinging to Jesus.
Jesus whispers, “Lean into me. Become one with me. Trust me to get you there.”
Paul wrote: “But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him,” (1 Corinthians 6:17 NLT). Jesus doesn’t want us simply to follow after Him. He wants us to be in union with Him as we live and move and have our being in Him (Acts 17:28).
Today, as Blondin carried Harry across the tightrope spanning the Niagara Falls, picture Jesus carrying you across the tightrope of life. Hear Him saying, “Until I clear this place, be a part of me—mind, body, and soul. If I sway, sway with me. Do not attempt to do any balancing yourself.”
Then when we get to the other side called heaven, we will hear the roar of applause!
God, I don’t know why I think I can do life on my own. Help me to remember to cling to Jesus and always move in union with Him. Show me what it means to abide in Him as I walk through each day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
What do you think it would look like to hang on to Jesus as we go through life? Leave a comment and let’s share.
Today’s devotion was adapted from my book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More. If you’d like to learn about how to live in sacred union with Jesus every day, all day, then this book is for you! Sometimes we just make it too hard, when it was never meant to be.
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© 2022 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
 White Knuckles of Niagara by K.D. Tessendorf found at http://highlightskids.com/Stories/NonFiction/NF0998_niagaraKnuckles.asp
Thank you Sharon! I needed this so much this morning. God bless you
Great and motivating read. Thank you.
Safe, in complete union, although some steps will still feel terrifying.
That’s such a great analogy of trusting Jesus. We have to trust Him even when it terrifies us. Thank you for always uplifting and encouraging.
More of a side note than a comment. I am intrigued about following Jesus and I am on a weight loss journey and I want to follow a Jesus diet plan or a Mediterranean diet plan and I wanted to know how many miles did Jesus walk in a day, so I Goggled it! Jesus walked about 20 miles a day! I’ve got to get moving.
Oh so safe,
Just what I needed for today. Thank you Sharon God bless you abundantly .
Wonderful devotional! Thank you!
I am thankful to hang on to Jesus in every moment. His comfort and love provide peace. 🙂
Thank you! I needed to hear/read this today.
Thank you for this devotional today.At this moment I feel like I’m walking alone.I was recently suspended from my job that I had worked at for the last 11 years. I have only me and my adult so to support but for health reasons my son is unable to work. To say I’m struggling right now is an understatement. Bills are piling up,I have no savings,and my other adult kids have families that they are trying to support. Im just trying to take it day by day and I do believe in the power of prayer but I still feel as if I’m so alone. I think its a true saying that in the time of need you will really find out who’s your real friend. There’s only one that I know still cares and loves me. And that’s Jesus. I do believe that with all my heart and soul. But yet there is a feeling of loneliness and emptiness inside me. So to be able to read today’s devotional has just reassured me that God hasn’t abandoned me and that He sees me and He knows my fears and struggles. This devotional assures me that He will walk with me and I dont have to feel all alone at this difficult time. Thank you for your inspiring and heartfelt devotionals and may you continue to be an inspiration in many people lives. I would love and appreciate all prayers. Have a blessed day.
Michelle, I am praying for you and your son right now! I know He never leaves us in times of trouble and doesn’t allow us see the whole picture of the future situation. But I’m praying He’ll clearly show you YOUR next step to take as you trust Him.
As I look back my struggles would have been much easier if I had Jesus balancing for me. Oh I know he was with me or I wouldn’t be here today .
Thank you Jesus.
AWESOME, thank you, just what I needed to hear!
Graterful, I needed to be reminded to be One with Jesus in life!!
Brilliant, thank you just what we needed to hear
Brilliant, thank you Sharon
Brilliant message, thank you so very much
Absolutely beautiful visual picture of Christians becoming one with Jesus!
Thank you Sharon for sharing your gift of writing! 💙
Thank you for being part of my family!
Beautiful devotion and a reminder that God is always with us.
Yes He is!
With that heavy wooden cross on HIS back, Jesus carried my sins away. Oh, to trust in Him! …always praying
I think to hang on to Jesus as I walk through life would be simpler, less confused, not less painful, but less hurt (if that makes sense). I think there would be trials and tribulations, but I would not suffer them in the same way. I think my heart would be more open, and my relationships more satisfying because my expectancies would be not on how I am treated, but rather how I treat others.
What a perfect picture of our walk with Jesus! I needed this today. Thank you, Sharon. God bless you.
This devotional is so inspiring to me!!! It made me feel good and I can see Jesus carrying me. It also brought to mind the poem Footprints which also says the Lord carries us. God has to be very strong to carry me because I’m not a lightweight so it shows me His strength in so many ways. I don’t have to worry about falling because He’s got me. I remember when my granddaughter was around 3 and she had to use a public restroom. I didn’t want her to sit on the seat so I put my hands under her legs and she put her arms around my neck and I held her up. She was a little afraid but I said to her don’t worry I got u, grandma’s got u. Many months later when she had to use the restroom and we went through the same ritual she remembered what I had said to her. She said you got me grandma and I said yes I got u and she wasn’t afraid because she knew from last time I had her. That’s how God is He’s got us!!! I love reading your devotional’s they always evoke me to meditate on Jesus and His goodness!!!
Encouraging message!!! I would feel loved,safe,happy and comfortable.
Thanks for sharing this story. It touched me as I’m on a journey of recovering from long Covid and struggle with anxiety. This story is a beautiful picture of oneness with Jesus in our daily walk with Him!
Thank you Jesus. Let me make my ways your ways and walk with you every step . Amen 🙏🏾
I needed to read this message today because my spirit has been so restless and anxious for what seems to be weeks or months. I’m learning how to live my life not only from moving beyond the pandemic but being a cancer survivor for 3yrs this month, and an empty nester. Yet I remain being hesitant because my mother is getting older and is still recovering from a surgical procedure that she had last August. Not only that, I feel like I’ve gotten ahead of myself and not listened to God and made a purchase that feels like its strangling me. I keep trying to pray and get out of my head but as soon as I think I’ve move past my constant nagging thoughts they come right back. I know that God has so much more for me to achieve and to do but I can’t seem to get out of my own way to discover what that may be and it makes me so uncomfortable. Today’s message was so important because I always try to take over when I know I need to just “…, sway when He sways,”
I could not make it through the day without my belief in Jesus.
Sharon,what a breath of fresh air in these words,”hanging on to Jesus”.I use to work with you and your husband,then I was Deborah Barker.This reminds me of John 22b”Recieve the Holy Spirit”.By breathing the Spirit into the disciples,the Lord imparted Himself into them as life and everything.So happy we can hang on to this One who is everything to us.Keep speaking these wonderful Words of Life!
Thank You for this devotional. I need to give the wheels to Jesus. I’ve realized that I need the Holy Spirit so much I am nothing without Him. I need the Holy Spirit to survive.
I have followed you and GIG for several years now, just want you to know- your stories, words, encouragement etc had changed my life- I have always loved Jesus/god, but now I understand him. Thank You ❤️
Thank you so much, Jeri!
OH! MY! GOODNESS! I KNOW this was absolutely meant for me today! Thank you Sharon for the perfect reminder. I KNOW to always lean on God for everything, but do I always listen…NOPE! I try to do things myself and there are times I KEEP trying to do it “MY WAY”, but it’s ALWAYS God’s way that is the ONLY WAY!