By Haydon Murr

Who amongst us has ever found ourselves in a situation where we felt ill prepared, fearful or out of our depth?

Don’t ask what the world needs – ask what makes you come alive & go do it. What the world needs is people who have come alive.  Howard Thurman (theologian)

I was thinking about this recently & trying to remember the times I’ve found myself in this kind of situation. To be honest, there were mercifully few, but most of them seemed to revolve around great heights & precipices! Fixing slate roofs, sliding down zip wires & riding rollercoasters are just a few of the things I’ve found myself doing fairly recently, with a deepening sense of unease.

As a Father, God has extended His love to us, across a chasm we could never have crossed in our own ability, & made it possible for as to know Him in all His goodness.

It feels strange to say that now: as a child I loved to climb trees, & was proud of the fact that nobody else in my neighborhood could climb to the very top of the tallest one in our street. I can still remember the swaying of the uppermost branches, not much wider than my own wrist, as the breeze caused them to bend under the weight of my relatively small frame.

Generally, if I ever find myself in a tight spot, or a tricky situation, it’s usually because I’ve chosen to put myself there. Sometimes I’ve been ‘egged on’ or agreed out of a sense of duty or responsibility, but ultimately, I’ve agreed to ‘be there’ or ‘do that thing’.

As Heidi Damon wrote here, our choices give us the opportunity to serve God & live life to the full.

Our ability to choose, comes from our free will – perhaps the most powerful gift God has given us.

A powerful gift makes us powerful people, & so we get to choose how we will live our lives.

Free will, risk & love

Ultimately, the most powerful choice we will ever make, will be to choose to take God at His word, & know Him for who He says He is. The fact that He gives us the freedom to make that choice says a lot about who God is, & His ability to take risk.

After all, what greater risk could there be than to love unconditionally? Yet that is how God loves us.

As children of God made in His image, both love, & hence risk are in our DNA. Rather than getting into situations where we feel vulnerable or fearful on our own, God is wanting to partner with us  as we make powerful choices from love, taking risk along the way.

Knowing that He is good frees us to live adventurously, confident that He is always with us & for us. The fear that we are on our own, that limits our courage to live wholeheartedly can no longer hold us back.

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?”

Romans 8:31 NASB