We put our house on the market Thursday. By Sunday, we had two offers. Monday brought one more. I’m reminded of my pastor’s sermon two weeks ago on Risk Faith and Courage—was he talking about For Sale signs as well? MY plan was: find out about a change in schools by Friday, put the house on the market the following Monday, and then by the end of next week, have the house sold! However, in spite of the first answer taking longer than planned, we decided to go ahead and stake the sign in the front. I liken it to sticking my toe into a creek to see the temperature, not ready to jump in yet.
For the first time in years we aren’t sure of where we’ll land after our house sells. We’ve talked about, wanted to, and had a purpose for moving (all while staying in Nashville) for over a year. You know the “stuff” we worry about? None of it has lined up and that has been my signal to keep waiting for a break from the perfect storm before doing anything. Then I heard those words from the platform. Until then I assumed risk, faith and courage was for couples wanting to move to far off lands and open orphanages. Not reasonably normal people looking to make a few changes in life.
So many emotions bubble over with the sale of a home.
I think I’m okay with moving in thirty days if the buyer wants. I think I’m okay with leaving the Japanese Maple and River Burch, two beautiful trees I’ve managed not to kill these last ten years. I think I’m okay leaving the light fixtures we went over budget on. I’d like to say I’m okay leaving here and going…Oh wait, we have no idea where we’re going.
I’m not one to cling to my stuff (there’s that word again), but lately it has been difficult to loosen my grip. To let go of the excess frying pans I’ve collected over the years, the chandeliers on dimmer switches, the pergola built with the sweat of Uncle George and my cousin, Josh.
And therein lies the problem with many of us. It’s this inability to let go that gets us stuck trying to take the car from second to third gear…as though everything we have at this current place in life is the best we’ll ever have. I say things like, “Here we go again. I’ve worked hard for this. You want me give it all up now?”
What careless faith. Don’t I trust Him to give me just what I need at just the right moment? Do you? Then why do we say things like: “I’ll do it…If You give me a better house; If I get that promotion; If I find that perfect spouse; If you fix my marriage. If not, all bets are off.”
Read this with me from Matthew 14:
Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea when the wind came up against them and they were battered by the waves. At about four o’clock in the morning, Jesus came toward them walking on the water. They were scared out of their wits. “A ghost!” they said, crying out in terror. 27But Jesus was quick to comfort them. “Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.” 28Peter, suddenly bold, said, “Master, if it’s really you, call me to come to you on the water.” 29-30He said, “Come ahead.” Jumping out of the boat, Peter walked on the water to Jesus. But when he looked down at the waves churning beneath his feet, he lost his nerve and started to sink. He cried, “Master, save me!” 31Jesus didn’t hesitate. He reached down and grabbed his hand. Then he said, “Faint-heart, what got into you?” 32-33The two of them climbed into the boat, and the wind died down. The disciples in the boat, having watched the whole thing, worshiped Jesus, saying, “This is it! You are God’s Son for sure!”
The part that strikes me is, “The two of them climbed into the boat, and [then] the wind died down.” Jesus, who had just walked on water and had already calmed one squall for His disciples, could have said, “Hang on a second, Pete. Let me take care of the storm before you start your journey.” But he didn’t. He called to Peter through the storm, as though Peter needed to learn that Easy Street is not the only open road.
Then he walked straight towards Jesus on the water. Maybe Pete, realizing the storm wasn’t letting up, got scared and decided he was more comfortable in the safety of the familiar boat. Do you know the kind of familiarity I’m talking about? That mediocre place where we get stuck doing it the way we’ve always done because we can’t fathom that there is anything better for us? It hardly seems possibly that God would call us out of our comfort zone, and still be ALL the provision we need.
“Courage!” He calls me by that name through the heavy downpour, so can he teach my faint heart how to maneuver through the wind. He gives courage when it’s time to move, time to change, time to let go. Just like he did for Peter, Jesus wants to show us that He is our sufficiency; but we have to be willing to take a risk—in courage and in faith.
Sometimes He says, “Go,” without giving you an address to log into Google maps. I know it’s risky, like you’re a blind man with no cane to tap the pavement, trusting completely in a still small whisper. But if God is in charge of everything, then He is also in charge of that storm. Some times He will take it out of your path, and some times He will tell you to slip on a life jacket and send you straight into the choppy waters.
I say it’s time to test the waters.