God is not a risk-taker

Risk puts us on the line. As much as we plan and evaluate, there is an unknown factor in every decision we make.

My husband and I dealt with the fear of risk this week, as we tried to determine what would be best for our daughter. She had taken a hard fall, and was exhibiting signs of a concussion. We were scared and worried for her as we waited in the ER, and wanted to make sure she would be OK. We were beyond stressed, and our list of pros and cons over a certain course of action went back and forth. It’s one of the few times, ever, that I’ve seen my husband cry. God calmed our hearts as we prayed, and then made a decision.

The next day as we were all recuperating, incredibly grateful that Lauren was getting back to her normal self, I thought about risk and how the events of the last 24 hours had unfolded. As I spent time thanking God for protecting Lauren and guiding us, I realized this:

God is not a risk-taker.

And, I incorrectly consider God’s grace on my terms.

God doesn’t evaluate situations like I do. God doesn’t get surprised or overwhelmed. God doesn’t base His love and provision on the risk and potential rewards. He sees the beginning, middle and end. God already knows.

So, when God chooses to extend His grace into my life and yours, He doesn’t do it because we deserve it or there will be some payoff in the end. He loves, He forgives, He protects, He provides, He purifies because that is who He is.

This is hard to understand. When evaluating a situation, I am taught to consider risk and if it is worth it. And, when I consider God’s grace in my life, the risk seems to outweigh the reward. I am a sinner. How could Jesus put His life on the line and sacrifice it all, knowing that I will fail him?

God doesn’t have a notebook in heaven with a line down the middle of the page, sketching out the positive and negative results of potential actions. He loves lavishly. He gives generously. His mercy is unending. His victory is sure.

When all I see is risk, I miss God’s grace. God’s love is not a gamble, it is a certainty.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

– Hebrews 14:16

Favorite place

Lauren squints outside her favorite place in the world.

Lauren squints outside her favorite place in the world.

Lauren asks to go there at least once a day.

It’s her second home. Most days, her daddy is there. She often sees her friends there. It’s where she can sing and dance and play. It’s filled with people who demonstrate God’s love to her, and where she learns about God’s Word.

It’s her favorite place in the world.

Lauren’s love for her church should be ours as well.

God’s house is a place we should long to be. It’s where our Heavenly Father is, where we can join together with our spiritual family. Church is a home of praise and joy and thanksgiving. There, we can look forward to acceptance and accountability. We can receive nourishment from God’s Word being opened up to us.

God’s home is our home. Better is one day in His courts than thousands elsewhere.

How lovely is your dwelling place,
Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.

Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.

Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere.

– Psalm 84:1-2, 4, 10a