Sunday, June 3, 2012

On the Threshold of Risk . . .

A wave of fear overwhelmed my heart and spilled out in my words, “What do you mean - this would be a good move for us? Do you know how risky this could be? Have you even considered the ramifications this would have on our family!?”

My husband of sixteen years was contemplating leaving his secure job that he’d worked at for all of our married life and moving into the safe and stable world of “home building” – hmmm, not so much!

I had seen the frustration building in him as he faithfully went to work each day and it had been my prayer that God would give him something he could do that would be more fulfilling and less demanding on his time. But THIS! Really, what could be more uncertain than the homebuilding industry?

As we weighed the pros and cons of this decision I was struck with the irony of it all – how risky it was and yet how rewarding it could be.   

Isn’t that the way it is with risk - the greater the risk, the greater the reward?

In Matthew 16:24-25 (NLV) Jesus calls his true followers to the Way of Risk, “. . . ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.’”

What would motivate a couple with a nice home, secure income, two cars and “built in” babysitters called Grandma and Grandpa only a couple of miles away to leave everything that is comfortable and move to another country half-way around the world to share the gospel?

What kind of parents would take their kids from the world of soccer games, gymnastics and ballet to the unknown world of dirt floors, naked natives and mud huts?

What would possess a couple who has just finished getting all their children raised and out of the home to adopt an abandoned child and begin the process all over again?

Many would say they are ridiculous, irresponsible, and crazy. Normal people don’t do that!

But followers of Jesus do this all the time. They leave the safe and comfortable and step out on a road of faith, a road less followed.

The writer of Proverbs says this, “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death. "(Proverbs 14:12 NLV) On this pathway the risk is minimal, the road is easy, the journey is safe but what is the reward?

The way of Jesus is a pathway of risk. The cross is anything but safe. The journey of a true Christian is marked with challenges and upheavals, joys and sorrows, heartache and pain. Contrary to the American philosophy of our right to happiness, God doesn’t promise his followers an easy road to travel but what He does promise is that He will be with us each step of the way.

My husband and I weren’t being called to go to the mission field or to adopt a child but even so we were being called to step out in FAITH and TRUST. 
We took the plunge and God was faithful.  Did everything work out like we thought it would?  No, in fact, just seven years later his place of employment closed their doors and we were once again on the threshold of Risk.  But because we had developed a habit of trusting God it never became overwhelming.  And the best part of it all?   My husband got to do something he had wanted to do all his life – start his own business.
When we’re standing on the threshold of Risk it’s easy to wonder if it will be worth it. Often our choices seem to those on the “outside” and even some on the “inside” that we have chosen the ridiculous, the irresponsible, and the crazy way but don’t forget the reward - an eternity in the presence of the ONE who first took up His Cross for us.

What are you waiting for? Make the move, take the step. In the grand scheme of life you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain!


  1. Super post - and the PERFECT title, dear Kristi. So hard to step out in faith - but it is ALWAYS a blessing to Him, and often to us.

  2. I remember these stories well. You have done a great job connecting them to the spiritual growth these incidents afford us. It blesses me to see the maturity God has given you both as a result.