Monday, August 10, 2009

Taking Risks

I needed to share my thoughts in this post as we prepare for our departure in only 5 days. I have been reading John Piper's book "Don't Waste Your Life". Last night I read a very timely chapter called "Risk is Right--Better to Lose Your Life Than to Waste It". As some of you may or may not know, I struggle with the "fear of flying". It stretches me out of my comfort zone and I tend to worry irrationally about it. Having young children that are relying on us to raise them and take care of them amplifies my fears. I know they will be in good hands and will NEVER be abandoned or alone, but I want to always be there for them (God willing). I know these are not uncommon thoughts and fears. I constantly give it to God and try to think rationally that all will be well. After all, so many families have gone and come back just fine! Obviously I struggle with letting go of control and trusting God to take care of the details of life. But reading John Piper's take on it made me feel better about the adventure we are embarking on. Here is an excerpt from his book that I wanted to share:

What is Risk?
I define risk very simply as an action that exposes you to the possibility of loss or injury. If you take a risk you can lose money, you can lose face, you can lose your health or even your life. And what's worse, if you take a risk, you may endanger other people and not just yourself. Their lives may be at stake. Will a wise and loving person, then, ever take a risk? Is it wise to expose yourself to loss? Is it loving to endanger others? Is losing life the same as wasting it?
It depends. Of course you can throw your life away in a hundred sinful ways and die as a result. In that case, losing life and wasting it would be the same. But losing life is not always the same as wasting it. What if the circumstances are such that NOT taking a risk will result in loss and injury? It may not be wise to play it safe. And what if a successful risk would bring great benefit to many people, and its failure would bring harm only to yourself? It may not be loving to choose comfort of security when something great may be achieved for the cause of Christ and for the good of others.

I am remembering Matthew 6:25, 31-33--"Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'...your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

I hope this is helpful for all of you other fellow EX-"worry worts" out there! God has it all under control. Just hang on and enjoy the ride!


  1. Gotta love John Piper.

    Thanks for posting this I needed it more today than you know.

    Praying for your trip and the union with your son.

  2. oh, and I stole it to post it on my blog.


  3. Thanks for the post. Brad was in the ER Sunday evening in shock from a tiny bee bite. His pulse was down to 40 and blood pressure was dropping. I'm scared for him to leave the house much less travel to Africa right now. We didn't know he was allergic. Scary. I'm not so afraid of the big things that fly now but the little. I am purchasing your book.

    In Christ-Beth

  4. Tanya,
    I know you will do great and we are praying for you guys. Enjoy your trip and can't wait to talk to you when you get home.

  5. Thanks so much. Best wishes on your trip-can't wait to see pics.

  6. Love the quote. John Piper always says it so eloquently, but also with such a challenge. Yeah, we have had to say bye to comfort and security many times in the past few years, but I would add that EVERY time we do, God shows himself a little more clearly to us. How cool is that??? Oh, just watch what God is going to do in your family.