“Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.”
~ Brene Brown
There’s a misconception that most of us carry in life. It’s that we can hedge our bets, take out an insurance policy, or carefully and logically construct a plan of approach. We believe that we can basically handle whatever life throws at us if we work hard enough at it. However, I’m reminded of God’s call to Abram in Genesis 12 to abandon everything: his homeland, all that was familiar and safe and certain. In that, Abram was called to risk trusting an unpredictable and uncertain path. “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” Abram did not have so much as a map when he set out from Haran. God would essentially be his GPS. He left all that was familiar and comfortable. He was called to risk.
We have become accustomed to a predictable and manageable faith. If we can think it, then we can make it happen. In our Pinterest-fueled world which portrays life as smooth and effortless as possible, the Bible startles us with depictions of risk. It’s easy to overlook the enormous amount of uncertainty involved in Noah believing God and building an ark or Moses confronting Pharaoh. Or the risk of the disciples leaving their father’s and their father’s father’s fishing business to follow a would-be prophet from Nazareth. Whether we acknowledge it or not, life is full of the unknown. And, a life of faith should be even more saturated with stepping into risk!
As a church, we are in a season that may seem uncomfortable. It’s a time of discovery and leaning more into our hopes. I have been telling people that church feels a bit like a “choose your own adventure” book, and there are some choices we get to make that require some faith and some risk taking. The truth is, church is never meant to be an incubator for careful living. After all, it is a rugged band of ragamuffins seeking to follow a God who is anything but safe. The Lion of Judah is good and faithful, but he invites us to join him on the unpredictable ride of faith. And that is simply not linear; there is no point A to B.
Brene Brown writes this, “Faith is a place of mystery, where we find the courage to believe in what we cannot see and the strength to let go of our fear of uncertainty.” Or, as the author of Hebrews put it, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Abram left behind all that was familiar. The only thing promised to him was that God’s Spirit walked with him and before him. We have that promise too - not ease and comfort, but God’s very presence. He has given us his Spirit, and he has given us one another. My prayer for you and for me is that we would move, one step at a time, toward a risky faith. May we discover his Kingdom in deeper and truer ways yet as we lean into our hopes as a community.