Yesterday on Twitter, lots of people were tweeting from a conference where one of the speakers said that we need to do “risky things for Jesus”. This got me thinking; have I ever done anything risky?
Well, I took my family to live in an isolated African village without mains electricity or running water. That was tough; physically and emotionally demanding. Perhaps the hardest thing was our family’s constant struggle with malaria. We all went had repeated attacks and we all had to be treated in hospital on at least one occasional. Sue suffered years of chronic malaria and really wasn’t well for years. I reckon that the most difficult few hours of my life were when our two week old baby got malaria and then went into a coma because of the treatment he was given. Tough times.
However, none of that seemed risky at the time. We just followed where God was leading and did what we had to do. It was hard going and at times it got us down, but in the end, you just get on with things.
The real risky bit happened years earlier, when in our early twenties we both gave up jobs and careers and headed off to Bible College. We had no regular income and just enough savings to pay two terms’ tuition fees – that felt risky.
However, once we had taken that step, the rest just flowed from it; moving to France with a six week old baby, heading off to Africa a year or so later, moving to live in the village and then – just when we felt settled and the translation was going well – leaving the village to take up a leadership role in the capital.
It’s been a fun ride. Hard at times, but exhilarating. At times, it has felt very risky, but in truth, there was no risk at all. Joshua 1:9 says:
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Disobeying God and staying in comfortable jobs in the UK – that would have been risky!