I was fortunate enough to have a solitary walk on the beach not to long ago. (Deep breath as I remember that rare moment.) Now, I’ll admit that lots of folks were there, so it wasn’t solitary in the true sense, but no one called me “Mommy” or asked me to make them something to eat. It was glorious.
I sat down for a bit, and the Lord immediately directed my attention to this sight:
His words flooded my heart.
It’s time for you to start taking some risks. You’ve spent your whole life acting as your own lifeguard, keeping yourself out of deep water and away from anything uncomfortable.
See how this lifeguard tower is unmanned? I want you to resign as your own watchman and protector. Let Me decide what is safe for you and what is not.
As this truth pierced my heart, I could not deny it. I let it sink in.
Since I experienced some pretty traumatic things as a child, I’ve spent most of my life trying to avoid pain, rejection, vulnerability… I’ve avoided just about everything that I didn’t think I could control or escape in a pinch. I think it’s a typical human response to avoid discomfort or suffering. However, as children of the Most High God, we are not typical humans!
The grace that has been granted you is that of suffering for Christ’s sake,
not merely believing in him. Philippians 1:29 (KNOX)
Did you catch that? We have been granted grace to suffer, to be uncomfortable, to be misunderstood and mocked. We have been given the grace to take risks for the sake of Christ. His grace is poured out abundantly so that we can do more than just believe in Him! We can also put our dreams, our comfort, our time, our money, our passion on the line for Him and His kingdom. We need not perform this risk taking on our own– we are given sufficient grace to do this through the power of the Holy Spirit within us.
God is showing me that, rather than being mindful of the grace that to allows me to be uncomfortable and take risks, I consider opportunities on the scale of comfort and ease. I measure challenges against my own strength, abilities, and time available. Instead, I should measure them by His grace, His abilities and His power!
When I consider His power and resources, then nothing is impossible. When I consider His grace and love, how uncomfortable can the risk be when He has me in His hand the whole time?
Since He spoke this word to me nearly a month ago at the beach, the Lord has already laid challenges before me. He’s asked me to take some risks in a few relationships. He’s asked me to make a trip across the country to be His voice of encouragement. He’s leading our family to change churches after 25 years in one place.
And even as I write this, once again He asks me, “Is it really a risk when I am Your Lifeguard?”