Friday, January 13, 2012

No Risk, No Reward

“…if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16)

         There is a saying in the business world: “No risk, no reward.” You and I might say, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” But we all know there are different degrees of risk. To risk a dollar on a raffle ticket is not the same as risking your life’s savings on a business venture; and to risk jumping from a low hanging tree limb is not the same as running into a burning building to save someone.

         The truth is, we are indebted to the world’s risk takers. Our lives have been greatly enriched by those brave souls who were willing to try something different, think out of the box, even when it cost them ridicule or personal loss. Thomas Edison may not have been easy to live with, but I’d hate having to live in a world without him, wouldn’t you? J Not all risks pan out, and some may have adverse results, but it’s for sure, you’ll never know until you try. The ultimate question, of course, is whether the venture is worth the risk.

         In Esther’s case, the lives of thousands of people hung in the balance, and her only decision was whether or not it was worth the possible loss of her own to try to save theirs. You and I may not be faced with such a risk, but I would contend that much of our lives, and surely the most important parts, is a risk. And failure to take action is the greatest risk of all.

         What the world calls risk, you and I know to be faith. And everyone has it, either in the God of the Bible, another god, or the god of self. The ultimate risk is the eternal place of the soul; but beyond that, I think there are other risks God calls upon us to take in life, a leap of faith, if you will.

         Marriage is a risk. Notice I didn’t say love is a risk. One is a choice; the other is a commandment. I love many people, but I am only married to one. And we all know that the best choice, spiritually and every other way, doesn’t always guarantee perpetual blue skies. The most promising marriage can be sabotaged by sin. And the prospect of widowhood always looms. But I have always felt marriage to be a good risk, and not just because of the good man I married. I can assured you we have not always seen eye to eye, but we’ve both always had our eyes on God; and because of that, our love has become more reliable — and robust — through the years.

         No risk, no reward; and the rewards of marriage are well worth the risk!
         There are many other risky points in life I could mention, but I only have one more to add here. Parenting is a risk. Speaking as a mother, childbirth, with all its life-threatening aspects, is a piece of cake next to child rearing! This little person who crowded us from the inside over those last few months will crowd our thoughts and lives from the outside from now on. From the time we hold them in our arms at birth, the fear of letting go is almost smothering. And yet that is what God asks us to do.

         Hannah was granted the gift of a child, only to be called upon to give him up to a questionable environment after he was weaned. And young Mary, who was given the honor of being the vehicle for the birth of God’s Son, was, in the end, called upon to witness his torture and death, unable…and unwilling…to beg for His life. I have to remind myself from time to time that to stand by and allow God to work in the lives of my children, without interference, is to risk everything on Him, Who does all things right (Gen. 18:25). That removes a lot of the risk, wouldn’t you say?

         No risk, no reward; and the rewards of being a parent are so much worth the risk!

         A great missionary once said, “Risk everything on God,” and I am determined, by the grace of God, to be one of His “risk-takers.” I want my faith to grow steadily till I can say, like Vance Havner,

“I’m stranded on God and shipwrecked on Omnipotence!”

No comments:

Post a Comment