The High-Wire Faith of Nik Wallenda

Nik Wallenda (ABC News YouTube channel)

As dawn breaks each morning, many of us must face personal fears of what might happen during the new day. Some days we struggle to put one foot in front of the other in pursuit of the path set before us.

Aerialist and high-wire walker, Nik Wallenda, recently joined the Greenelines podcast to discuss his new book, Facing Fear. His many thrilling walks across Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon and most recently over the active Masaya Volcano, among many others, make him a proven expert in facing fear.

"I want to help everyday people step out in faith even when they are afraid. Most of us will never walk a tightrope, but we face things that scare us every day," Wallenda said.

Following a 200-year tradition established over seven generations, Wallenda has pursued God as earnestly as a safe arrival on the other side of his wire. "I was actually accepted at Southeastern Bible College in Lakeland, Florida, when I finished high school. I was going to become a youth pastor or study further to become a pediatrician," he said. "But that was about the time the phone rang, and our family was invited back to re-create that pyramid [a seven-person pyramid his acrobatic family made famous] for the first time since the tragic fall in 1962.

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"I had this passion within me and wanted to perform. And all the while, I struggled to understand how God was going to get the glory from all this," Wallenda said. "By 2011, I was in the process of seeking permission to walk across Niagara Falls, and in order to get permission to walk across the falls, I had to change two laws in two countries that were over 100 years old. It took over a year and a half to get the walk approved. The walk was broadcast live by ABC."

Most of Wallenda's walks are miked, and the audience hears him speaking Scripture and praising the Lord as he traverses the wires.

He listens to worship music as he trains and clearly sees his high-wire walks as his ministry.

"I think the key for me is continually keeping God at the center of my life, no matter what situation I'm in, to seek Him first, so that all of his righteousness will be added unto me," Wallenda said. "You know, in Isaiah 41:10, it says, 'Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am Your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'

"That is a Scripture that I've held onto often," he said. "It is so easy during these times of COVID to be dismayed. But if we can just realize that our God is the Creator of the universe, that He created us in His image and He knows the beginning from the end, and He will get the glory. All things work for good."

Wallenda has learned to keep his eyes on the rock set before him.

"When I'm walking across Niagara Falls, I'm not looking at the heavy mist and the heavy winds and the wire moving underneath me," he said. "I'm looking at the solid rock that my wire is anchored to on the other side. And if we can look through, even in those dark times, and know that good will come from this, every negative situation I've been through has only led to great things. Every valley has only led to the mountaintop."

Listen to the entire podcast here.

Love Leads book coverDr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the multimedia group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His Charisma House book, Love Leads, shows that without love, you cannot be an effective leader. Download his Greenelines podcast at cpnshows.com

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