Taking the Risk

In the past few days I read Numbers 13 and 14. It’s a story that we learn in Sunday School as children and a passage that I both love and dread.

The nation of Israel has left Egypt and slavery behind. They’ve crossed the Red Sea on dry ground, taken the long way through the wilderness, have seen God work in miraculous ways for months, and now they’re camped at Kadesh-Barnea. They’re a stone’s throw from the Promised Land—the place generations have dreamed of returning to. For 40 days the Israelites wait to hear about the land God has brought them to—the land He said He was giving to them.

Finally, the 12 spies return and all that anticipation and excitement turns to fear as spy after spy stands and tells of giants and obstacles that await them on the other side of the river. Only 2 voices tell of the beauty and bounty of the land. The people become restless as fear settles on them and tightens its grip on them. After a night of turmoil and tears the people agree. “If only we had died in he land of Egypt, or if only we had died in theis wilderness! Why is the LORD bringing us into this land to die by the sword? Our wives and little children will become plunder. Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?” (Numbers 14:2-3)

I always want to shout, No! Don’t do it! Don’t you remember the slavery? How could you even think of going back? Don’t you remember all the things God has been doing for you?

Truth be told, I’m so much like the nation of Israel at this point that it’s…terrifying.

Kadesh-Barnea. It’s a place I’ve been to many times in my life. It’s a place that I really have mixed feelings about. A place of excitement as I look toward the anticipated opportunity. A place of anxiety as I looked toward the unknown. It’s also become a place of disappointment as fear takes over and I turn around and head back into the wilderness.

It's funny how God orchestrates all the details of life.
Take the risk of lose the chance. Photo by Cheryl Flatt.
I was chatting with my sister the other day and she sent this quote to me. She was talking about herself but it stopped me in my tracks. It was the THIRD time the same message was hitting me in a very short time. For three months I’ve been keeping some things buried but it all came gurgling out as I furiously texted Cheryl. I knew I was at the river. Again. And I feared that if I didn’t step this time that the wilderness would claim me for good.

I knew all the obstacles and objections. I’ve lived with them many times in my life.

It was time I refocused on all that God has done and is doing.

That’s when I realized that there was no risk in obeying.
I really had nothing to lose.
But everything to gain.

What about you? Are you sitting in your own Kadesh-Barnea listening to reports of great obstacles and how small you are in comparison? Don’t listen to them! When you obey God, He fights for you and what the enemy means for evil God turns into good for you. I’m not gonna lie, it will be hard. There will be losses—but maybe some of those losses are things you need to lose (me too!!).

Turn away from the voices that say you can’t or shouldn’t and tune your ear to God. Remember and focus on all He’s done for you and move forward.

Sometimes you have to take the risk or lose the chance.

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