Wednesday, March 2, 2011

the intersection of risk and faith

The Nester had a great post yesterday about risk taking.  After reading it I got to thinking.  She was talking all about taking a risk in our decorating, but I think that her point applies to all of life.

Taking risks is hard, there’s no other way around that.  Risk taking is something that comes naturally to some folks but so very hard to others.  I used to fall into the last group.  I preferred little risks, or none at all.  I liked predictable, and to me boring was the most exciting thing I could think of.

But then God got a hold of me.  Not just a gentle grasp, but the all consuming grip of a deep and personal relationship.  That grip has forever changed the way I live my life, and it has completely altered the way I look at risks.

It’s easy to stay safe, to not risk anything.  We do this to keep ourselves from pain, we do this out of fear, we do this for lots and lots of reasons.  But when we do this we miss out on on life.  Real life. 

About five years ago God started stirring up some things in Zac and me.  At first it was a gentle little stir.  But gradually it become an all out high speed beating, like when you beat heavy cream to make whipped cream.  Eventually we knew God was asking us to make a move.  This move required a lot of us, it was risky and it was downright scary.  Following God here meant Zac quitting his secure full time job.  It would require us to sell our house.  It would move us across the state into a lot of unknowns.  We moved without a job in hand for Zac, we moved without a home to move too.  But God had all of that in mind, he was not unaware of our situation.

And that’s where faith and risk collided.  We took a giant risk in moving.  But we knew we were not making that move alone.  We knew that if God was calling us to do this thing, he would go with us.  And that made that risk seem a little less risky.  I guess some people thought we were foolish, but we couldn’t see any other option.  The call of God was so strong on this that we couldn’t ignore it.  

So we jumped in with both feet and we haven’t looked back.  In the midst of the move and everything that has happened since then we realized something.  What we once thought was risky was not at all that risky simply because we have never been alone.  Faith spoke louder than the risk.  Faith that if God was calling us to move he would provide.  Faith that the God of all creation had promised to be with us, always.  Faith that God could see the end when we could barely even begin to understand the beginning.  

Now risk looks different through the eyes of faith.  And it’s caused me to always analyze my fears and look at them in the light of God’s truth.  If God has placed me where I am in life then he will take care of the details.  The things in life that require risk are easier because I know that I walk through them with God.

What’s risky right now?  Getting married is risky, so is having children.  Pursuing my dreams is risky; speaking up, sharing my heart, and making goals all carry risk.  But when faith comes in they don’t have to be scary. 

I’ve been asking myself lately what I’m so afraid of.  Those fears are always smaller than God’s ability to come through in my situation. 

I think God asks big things of us because he wants to give us a chance to grow in him, to grow in our faith.  He asks us to do what seems impossible because impossible situations are where he does his best work. 

Today I will make a choice to list to the voice faith over the voice of fear, I will unabashedly go where God is asking me-even when it’s scary.


  1. Thanks for sharing...I always wonder how people hear God. I would love to hear more about how you knew that God was telling you to make those changes in your life. I know it's no big voice from the sky or bright light in your room, but obviously you feel very strongly that God told you to do something very specific. What did that look like?

  2. I always feel spiritually encouraged and/or challenged after reading your posts. Thanks for consistently doing that for a sister in Christ.

  3. We're also currently in a season of 'risk'. we also moved to our current city without much security, but still, God provides. (even if it's 'just enough') it's hard to be in the waiting in faith stage - i look forward to rejoicing in the 'hope realized' stage!! :)

    would love to hear more about your personal dreams - maybe that will be one of your questions for your april interview!!



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