My family had a day at the beach recently, and our boys enjoyed climbing over its large rocks.
It occurred to me that we didn’t just step blindly onto them as if they were soft sand. We assessed each one for its stability, and whether it was big enough to hold our entire body without it tipping over. We assessed, then stepped, assessed, then stepped again. It was a conscious, considered exercise requiring strategy and control. But even if it looked stable, there were no guarantees. We took something of a risk each time…
But there’s a big difference between risking ourselves on rocks close to the ground, than, say, walking across a tightrope without a net. Because even if we fall, we won’t fall far. It’s risk within safe boundaries.
Life involves varying degrees of risk, and whether or not we tackle that ‘next big thing’ will depend on our degree of trust that things will work out OK. Some of us impulsively test out everything that comes our way, without fear of failure. Others refuse to take the first step in any area.
A serious relationship with God often leads to radical life changes and actions the rest of the world views as risky. But the paradox is that, when we’re in harmony with God, there are no real risks. Yes, we will make mistakes, but God won’t. He’ll take us on the journey we’re meant to go on. We can completely trust him in life and death.
It pays to assess the risk factors in our decisions, but we can make every decision knowing we trust in a sovereign God – our ultimate ‘safe boundary’. We just have to listen for his voice, and trust he will show us the way.
Proverbs 3 includes these words:
” Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
And The Message paraphrase has this to say:
“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God!”