Take a Risk2
I had the disadvantage of being surrounded by loving, supportive people when I was a kid. Encouragement in the areas where there was some strength shown was plentiful. I wish I had had more encouragement in the areas where only glimmers of gifting were evident – areas where I would have had to work harder. Almost anything athletic would fall into that category. I probably needed a “mean” coach so I could have learned it was okay to fall down while trying.
On that note, what happens when you move forward with what you believe you are supposed to do and nothing happens? First of all, if you will forgive the double negative, nothing does not happen. That would be impossible. Part of this thing about going for it with what God puts on your heart involves risk. The questions start pouring in. What if I didn’t hear right? What if people don’t respond like I hoped they would? What if I strike out?
I can tell you one thing – I’ve watched enough baseball to know that striking out is a real possibility. That walk back to the bench is disheartening, but something was learned. At the very least something was risked and that can be important in improvement and future progress. If you don’t swing you’ll never hit the ball. I am probably the last person that should use a sports metaphor, but it fits here.
I got to thinking about that word “risk” and how it fits into our lives as followers of Christ. It is common to hear the word risk as it applies to investments – low or high risk. Maybe we think of risk with a game show mentality – risk what’s in your hand for what is behind the curtain. But should we be comfortable with using the word risk when it applies to following our Good Shepherd?
In a word – YES!
Paul expresses his gratitude to risk takers in the following passages:
Philippians 2:29-30 – “So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me.”
Romans 16:3-4a – “Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life…”
We really don’t risk our lives much. It’s more a risk of acceptance or failure or inconvenience. But often I act like I have a lot more at stake than my reputation. To be sure, I do not write this encouragement to you as one who has no need to grow in this area. No, I write to encourage us to move forward together. After all, do we not have a Good Shepherd who cares for us?
On a recent Sunday there was a prophetic word given that encouraged us to move out of the shallow water, that place where seaweed confines and our feet still enjoy the safety of the ground. Go out into the deeper water and see what God will do.
That sounds risky to me and it is. I sat at my computer working on a writing project and I thought about that word. What if I put words out there and nobody reads them? What if I make a doctrinal error or just plain say something stupid? What if people tell me I’m wasting my time?
Eventually I no longer felt the seaweed or the squishy, wet soil beneath my feet. I thought I might be drowning. I wasn’t. I had a life preserver and you do, too. His name is Jesus.
Psalm 116:6: “The Lord preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.”
Love and blessings until we meet again,
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