Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Risk (05/17/12)
Most of our friends and family thought we were crazy when we first moved here. Our neighborhood is notorious for gangs, drugs and violence—but that’s the very reason why God called us here. Years before I was even born, many churches sought to escape the inner-city in order to establish themselves in the quiet, comfortable suburbs—leaving a gaping spiritual hole in a place crying out for the light of the gospel. Darkness soon replaced the light that should have been shed by the church. We believe God brought us here for a season to help shine His light in a dark place, and now I know it was a risk worth taking.
Even what I would call “risk” is nothing compared to the risks Jesus took to bring the light of His love into the darkness of our lives. He risked His own comfort, security, reputation and life to sacrifice for us. Hebrews 12:2 says He took these risks and endured the cross “for the joy set before Him.” He knew that every risk He took would yield a greater reward—life and salvation for the lost and hurting of the world. How can we do any less?
Looking back on our time in the inner city, I see the blessings that resulted from the risks that we've taken. Having seen God’s amazing power, provision and protection, I know Him in a deeper way. I also see people in a whole new light. Living here, God gave us the privilege of meeting people of all cultures and backgrounds, and we’ve learned from those who had next to nothing materially but where rich with thriving, sincere faith. We’ve seen that He is at work in what the world would consider the most hopeless places of society.
I can say I am a richer person from the experiences I’ve had living in what many would call a dangerous place. Many times, we hear the stories on the news about the vices of inner-city life—but we do not realize that there are real people with real lives behind those stories. God has opened my eyes to see people through His eyes, and this is of greater value than all the treasures of the earth. I hope that in some small way, I’ve brought some of His light into their lives as they have in mine.
Experiencing life in a multi-cultural setting brought us to take another risk that has yielded rewards exceedingly and immeasurably more than we could ask or think—adopting our daughter cross-culturally. She is a blessing beyond all words can describe, and she is so like my husband and I in soul and spirit that it’s evident God hand-picked her for our family. We had to overcome insurmountable obstacles and take personal, relational and financial risks for this adoption to come about—but the journey has brought us to find God’s invaluable treasures hidden in darkness.
A new season has come upon us, and God is leading us to a new place—where we will undoubtedly be called to take new risks. We are in the midst of our second adoption process, not knowing if our family will grow by one child or many. There is a possibility we will go to another country to bring our next child (or children!) home. So many unknowns dance through my mind, just like my daughter dances among the boxes in our living room. As I continue packing, I know from experience that in spite of all the uncertainties—every risk God brings our way will be a risk worth taking.
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