Encouragement From The Word

Taking the risk

It’s hard to believe that a large commercial jetliner could just vanish.  The loved ones of those who were flying on Malaysian Airlines flight 370 vietnam-MH370-searchcertainly can’t believe it, and neither can those who are searching for some sign of it.

There are so many variables that, unless and until the famed ‘black box’ is recovered, we may never know the whole story behind what happened to the flight, which carried nearly 300 passengers and crew, heading for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur.

This much we do know:  the passengers placed faith in the crew to get them to their destination safely, and the crew trusted the process, which they had undergone countless times previously, to the same end.

When I fly, which is, admittedly, not that frequently, I know I am taking a risk.  Statistically speaking, it’s a safer risk to fly to Winnipeg than to drive.  The difference is over who’s in charge.

Upon purchasing a plane ticket and boarding the aircraft, I relinquish control of my journey.  I trust the flight crew to operate the jet safely and get me to my destination in a safe and timely fashion.  I have no control over my circumstances at that point, except over which movie to watch and what snack to purchase.  I can’t walk into the cockpit and tell the captain I’ve decided to get off in Thunder Bay instead of Winnipeg, and would he please land there, thank-you-very-much.

(Well, I could try, but all it would get me would be an icy stare from the chief flight attendant.  And maybe a warm welcome from the RCMP when I deplaned in Winnipeg!)

Were I to drive, on the other hand, I could stop when and wherever I wished.  But the trade-off is that it would take ten times as long to get to there, not to mention the wear-and-tear on my vehicle and the iffy highway conditions I’d have to traverse at this time of year.  Given the choice, will I opt to fly?  You bet.  But it’s a risk.

In the Christian life, surrendering control to God is a risk.  When we pledge to follow Jesus Christ as Lord, we submit to his will for our lives, not our own.  That can mean forsaking some (seemingly) outstanding opportunities in favour of prayerfully doing what the Lord calls us to do.

The great thing, though, is that we can always rest confident that the risk of giving control over to God always is the better choice.  Why?  Because God knows what is best for us.  When we can be content with whatever place and station in which God places us, the risk of stepping out in faith and trust is no risk at all.

Have you stepped out in faith and trust?  Our Captain, Jesus, is ready to welcome you.

I have learned to be content with whatever I have”, wrote the apostle Paul to the Philippians (4.11)…from prison…for Jesus’ sake.

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