My five-year-old climbed a rock wall.
His legs shook. His eyes flitted. Yet he still climbed.
From my position directly underneath him, I could see his entire little body shaking as he paused on each handhold, simultaneously craving the security of the earth and the allure of the platform above.
As he stood on the platform, I saw the look on his face. Triumphant. Jubilant. Victorious. He knew he had faced his fears. Evident trepidation filled him along every inch of that wall, but he did it scared.
That’s one of my favorite things about this precious son: he will do it scared. It may not be easy for him, it may in fact be overwhelming. He may be scared of failing, or the “what if” of possibilities along the way may fill him with even more concern.
But once there is a goal that he has set for himself, he will keep at it until he is there, triumphant and satisfied, even if the process was unexpectedly scary or hard.
I want to be like that when I grow up.
Here is my question for us on this beautiful day:
What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
If you knew that the God of the universe promises to never leave you or forsake you, if you were confident that you serve a powerful God who designs and ordains your days, if you were positive that He who calls you is faithful, and that He will also do it, what would you do?
Think about it.
Ask yourself: “What one thing would I accomplish for the kingdom of heaven if I knew I could not fail?”
Do We Believe That God Is Who He Says He Is?
Do we believe that God is able to make messy things beautiful, and can redeem days and years? Do we trust that all things work together for good, for those who love God? “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear” (Isaiah 59:1).
You are called according to His purpose: what does it look like to live like that today? I would propose that it involves a little bit of risk. A little bit of “doing it scared.” And a whole lot of belief.
Believe that God is big enough and faithful enough and loving enough to fulfill His Word and do what He says.
Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief.
Burnout, discouragement, fear, and loss happen. Suffering happens. The path through life includes stellar vistas, grueling hikes, amazing mountaintop views, and misty valleys. You can pretty much bank on hard times. Isn’t that the point of a hike?
But God, working through the weaknesses of others? That happens too. And people, pouring themselves out for the One they love? I’ve seen it up close and personal.
Paul pressed toward the mark. Esther bucked the cultural trends of her day and risked death. Gideon faced his fears. Moses spoke out, even when he didn’t want to. Abraham believed God, and packed his bags. Throughout history, the Lord has used regular people whose only common denominator was the belief that God is God, and they obeyed His calling. In retrospect, passion and purpose defined their lives. They clung to the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.
Live in the assurance that you serve a King who knows the end of the story. Risk! Risk for the kingdom of heaven. Based on what you know to be true of God and of His character, make plans, act on them, and trust God to handle the rest.
So, what would you do if you knew you could not fail?
“For Paul, the roads weren’t safe, and neither were the rivers, Jews, Gentiles, cities, wilderness, the sea. Nothing was safe. Safety was a mirage. It didn’t exist for the apostle Paul. He had two choices: waste his life or live with risk.…The Christian life is a call to risk.”
And now, a note for Mother’s Day:
Perhaps the most risky thing in all of the world is bringing a child into it. This Mother’s Day weekend, remember the risk of parenting, the risk of mothering, the risk of mentorship. There is nothing that guarantees your end result. Our call is to be faithful with what God has placed in our hands and our hearts, and to leave the results—and the precious souls they represent—up to God.