My New Normal: One Little Word – Risk

Light on a PathThe inner cry of my heart may sometimes be – “I’m scared, Lord.” This inner cry flows in all of our lives at times. The economy falters. Our health takes a bad turn. Marital problems arise. Family disputes go unresolved. This can leave us a bit fearful of the great unknown which is always full of unanswered questions – What if? How Come? When? Why?

In my case, I long for change. I thrive on spontaneity. I blog about it. I am a thorn in my own flesh, fearful that I will sink into any form of normality that kills a creative life. Yet, there are those days where I, along with many of you, simply whisper, “I’m scared, Lord.”

Yes, me – the consummate preacher of change and creativity. I preach it but do I walk it without any fear? No, of course not. I’m human. Risk is what I talk about a lot. To me, Christianity is not static but an adventure in Christ. When we let it all go and just live in the Spirit there comes great purpose along with great challenge, great confrontation and lots and lots of questions. But, is there any other way to live? No, not for me. I think about this a lot because if I am talking about it, I want to walk it out. Authenticity, honesty and trust are very important for me.

Today I want to talk about risk – that little four-letter word that I throw around a lot. According to Webster risk means:

Possibility of loss
Exposure to danger
Possibility that something unpleasant will happen

Whoa…wait a minute……….according to this definition, risk means I face the possibility of losing something, facing danger and seeing something unpleasant happen to me. Is my Christian life actually about risk or is it really about walking in faith? Now I see two very different things. Maybe I need to examine this closely and change the word I want to use to describe my Christian walk.

Do I really risk or suffer the possibility of great loss in my ongoing relationship with Jesus? Well, yes, I do suffer loss in my flesh and my own desires. I like my life, a lot. I often want things my own way. When Christ asks me to lay some things down and walk by faith, I don’t always want to because I love my life. That produces tension in me. I am fighting within myself to accept His change or to go my way. This is so true right now in my ‘new normal’ as I am looking for a clear direction from the Lord where to settle. I get in the way many times. That is when fear can set in or confusion or just chaos.

I lose my life to find my life in Christ. I am promised an abundant and full life in Christ in great possibilities that may appear as impossibility right now. But, step out in faith. He is faithful so there is no actually no risk at all. My life is now hidden in Christ. That is not risk in the sense that it comes without great reward. An exchanged life comes with great reward to me– His life in me. Who could actually ask for anything better than that? To follow Christ is to accept the fact that to move in sync with Him, you will lose your life as you know it and come to know Him. No possibility, but fact. What are the alternatives? Keeping your life, living for your self, walking your way day by day by day. I don’t want that.

Do I expose myself to danger? Well yes and no, maybe, could be. Remind me to tell you the story of what happened to me in Uganda some years ago, that involved the military, large guns, a runaway matatu and a somewhat crazy American woman (that would be me) who did not feel it was her time to die so proceeded to take matters into her own hands at one moment in time. That is another story. So yes, there was danger in my obedience to follow God to the ends of the earth. But, He is in control and was in control all the way. I’m still here, aren’t I? He always provides a way out when we are walking His way. Not easy or predictable but there is safety under the shadow of His wing. Danger is as easy to come by walking the streets of New York, in the villages of Africa, or on the interstates of LA.

Does risk bring me headlong into the possibility that something bad or unpleasant will happen? Well, helloooooo…….isn’t that called life? I mean has anyone reading this not experienced something bad or unpleasant happen to them at times? Perhaps if you stayed hidden in your house or just keep your Christianity in a building on Sunday mornings, then, there may be no risk but again, that is not me.

So do I actually risk anything at all? Or is it just normal Christianity to walk out in faith (my new normal)  what seems to be impossible in my earthly eyes? I hold on with the sheer belief and trust that God is able, faithful, awesome, marvelous, in control, loving, kind, graceful, merciful………….all along knowing that He will finish that which He started in me. He does not leave me high and dry. He never leaves or forsakes me. Never. So perhaps I need to word this a bit different. Risk? Well, there is no risk in His love. It is sure, real, true and absolute for you and me. Adventure? Change? Yes, love brings me into that everyday. That is what makes life and my own Christian life filled with possibility in Christ.

So now I face this day. My other blogs reveal that I am walking in a faith that is not my own but is the faith of the Son of God who is leading me forward step by step. Yesterday was not really a good day for me but today looks a bit better because life goes on and I am determined to keep walking, keeping my eyes on Him. It’s all so good.

My challenge to all of us today – don’t see our Christianity as a risk filled with chance but see it as an adventure on a sure path that is laid out for us in Christ in faith. It changes our take on our life if we see it that way. You risk nothing for He is our great reward. You gain Christ. He is our life.

In Christ,
Debra Westbrook

10511315_794327653940721_886065626280149819_nGod breathed Rivers of Eden Ministry into my life many years ago. I have tried to define it with the typical Christianese language. I can’t. All I know is that our heart’s cry is to focus on Christ, the Tree of Life – to show forth His grace and flow in His glory wherever we are sent. Holy Spirit flows through us (Marvin and I), in creative expression, through preaching, teaching, prophetic flow – people are healed and set free. Divine connections are the norm for us. We go where God leads us – wherever and whenever He wants us to go. The reality of Christ in me, the hope of glory, is alive and well. Now, I am ready to move out again. Contact us on Facebook or Twitter. God may want to lead us your way – to your home group, church, gathering.

2 thoughts on “My New Normal: One Little Word – Risk

  1. Wow! How awesome our God is and is in you to allow us to share the ongoing working out of Himself in and through you by which we might know you and Him in you more clearly. Thanks for your transparency.

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