Sunday, November 9, 2014

A new kind of risk

In 2009, I posted this post here on Word About Words:
Only after we have yielded to Him can we reflect the face of Christ."  Celtic Daily Prayer

Yielding and reflecting.  I have always had the sense of God providing/meeting us in proportion to our own risk.  If we stay near the trunk of the tree, grasping on for dear life, holding what we already have, He will meet us there, giving lightly.  But, if we step out to the edge of the branch, trust Him to hold us, or even further, yield the branch altogether, HE will grasp us, hold us provide right there.  Catch us when we jump.  And there, what will be seen of us is His glory.  The times that I have risked most have been the times when I've been most overcome by His graciousness, His power, His care.  And my response is overwhelming praise.  He shines in my face at such moments.

Beve and I have owned 4 houses in 4 towns.  And these houses--both the buying and selling--have been moments of gigantic risk for us.  We bought land out on the Olympic Penninsula on the strength of a counseling opening in the Sequim School District, months before Beve even had an interview.  And once he actually got the job, we waited for God to sell our house.  Without a realtor.  We've only ever used the Holy Spirit as our realtor, either as buyer or seller. We stood way out on a limb to trust that He was in it, that He could do exceedingly abundantly, beyond all that we asked or even thought.  And you know the end of that story:  He sold that house about a minute before Beve had to move out to Sequim by himself.  And we rejoiced, we were humbled, we worshipped at His feet when He caught us.

This scenario has played out three more times as well.  But here's the thing: it's hard every time.  We always stumble on our way to faith, we always have to step gingerly out to the end of the limb.  I remember telling Beve once that I was a small island of faith in the midst of a swirling sea of doubt.  But you know what?  We risked it anyway.  And He catches us when we jump...every time.  Maybe not exactly as we expect, but always in such a way that we know it's Him.

"To hear with your heart,
 To see with your soul,
be guided by a hand you cannot hold,
To trust in a way you cannot see..that's what Faith must be."

This little chorus is what I'm talking about.  These words play repeatedly in my head when I step away from the trunk of that tree.  Step gingerly on to the end of the branch, and trust that His holy arms will catch me when I jump.  Not seeing with my blind, human eyes, not hearing with my deaf fleshly ears, but with my soul, my heart, my faith in the one who calls me onward. Further up and further in to faith, further in to risk! The proportion sounds just about right.

This is good news for me in this season of my life.  Once again I'm tentatively releasing my grip from the trunk of the tree of life, and am clawing my way to a small limb...and I trust that He'll be there at the end, holding on to my hand.

This is an important post for me today because as during the sermon this morning (a brilliant one from Genesis about Abram) I was struck by something powerful that is happening in our life right now. Beve and I have stepped off limbs of trees so many times in our life together. Selling homes, leaving all that we had to follow what we had faith was His call. Each time the most difficult leap meant we left something safe financially for something with no visible resources. Because this has been the case for us, I think I've been under the mistaken impression that it's only when we risk financially are we edging away from the trunk of the tree. Or even more leaping from the smallest of limps into the great  blue sky of  "Please, Father God, catch us!"

But that's EXACTLY what we're doing in becoming full-time care-givers for Grampie. It won't be a financial burden. And perhaps because it won't--because it will give us a little extra income--I haven't been seeing it as the kind of leaping risk where He will meet us proportionately. But it is exactly the same thing. It's the same heart-in-our-throats, "we know You're in this but please be in this!" kind of stepping out in faith people of faith have done since Abram left Ur.

Living by faith. Stepping out by faith. Yes, He's there holding my hand. Holding Beve's hand.
I'm awed at the way these words I wrote 5 years ago have been germinating for this moment.  At least for this moment. What will come when we move Grampie home will be hard, but we will be empowered by the One who gives grace. I can hardly wait to see what He will do in and through this season in our home.

1 comment:

Pamela M. Steiner said...

I love the way God prepares us for each new "adventure" in life...sometimes from things we ourselves wrote in the past...which now have an impact on our present...Only God could do that. I fully understand about the stepping out on faith/limb thing...we tend to live that way ourselves and are kind of in a similar situation now too. But God is with us as He is with you. He will not let you fall...He's got you covered in His big strong keep pressing on. God is already there waiting.