A few days ago, I was scrolling through a slideshow of famous historical photos that someone had shared on Facebook and a picture of Annie Edson Taylor captured my attention. I remember the first time I heard about this brave schoolteacher from New York. I was with my family at Niagara Falls, Ontario, watching a documentary about the history of the falls. People have done many stunts at the falls including walking over them on a tight-rope, but Annie Taylor was the first person to decide to go over the falls in a barrel. On October 24, 1901, her 63rd birthday, she climbed over the side of a rowboat and into her barrel, equipped with a mattress and a pillow. The lid was screwed on, the barrel was pressurized using a bicycle pump, the small hole in the lid was then sealed with a cork, and the barrel was set free. Rescuers reached her barrel shortly after the plunge and Annie was found alive and relatively unhurt, except for a gash in her head. Several of those who tried to follow her example did not fair so well.

Being more of a cautious person, I honestly don't understand people like that. She risked suffocation, dismemberment, and death for something that I don't think has changed the world all that much. But it was something she believed in so much that she was willing to risk everything for it. Is there something you are willing to risk your life for? In the book of Revelation we find these words describing those who gain the victory over the dragon: "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death" (Revelation 12:11). God's people believe in God so much that they are willing to risk everything for Him. Do you have that kind of faith? Are you willing to give your life for your belief in God? Someday we very well may have to. Let's start developing that faith today.

Risking everything for Him,

Pastor Sutherland

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