"Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me [Caleb] alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I'm just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said".1
Caleb, because of his faith and determination was certainly a risk-taker. If we are not willing to risk losing by stepping out of our comfort zone to fulfill God's will for our life, we will lose all that God has in store for us. Or, as William Arthur Ward expressed it so poetically:
"To laugh is to risk appearing a fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement,
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas and dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow,
But he cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live.
Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.
The pessimist complains about the wind;
The optimist expects it to change;
And the realist adjusts the sails."
As another has said, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The timid soul asks, 'What do I stand to lose if I do it?' The fruit-bearing Christian asks, 'What do I stand to lose if I don't do it?' Real life is lived on the cutting edge."
What will you and I risk for God and his work here on earth?
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, you didn't merely risk your life for me. You gave it willingly. Because you died for me, help me to risk living life to the full for you. Help me to always remember that 'he is no fool who gives up that which he cannot keep in order to gain that which he cannot lose.' Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name. Amen."
1. Joshua 14:10-12 (NIV).