Risk and Cost

Dice    Risking it all for Jesus…

I’ve heard this phrase tossed around in Christian circles. It sounds exciting. Bold. Holy.

The problem is that it’s simply not true.

I would even say it might be dangerous.

“Risking it all” makes it sound like some of us are the spiritual high rollers, while everybody else is playing it safe in Heaven’s casino.

You know, we give up our comforts and possessions to serve Jesus and someday earn a great big eternal crown. Some of us even leave our homes and everything we know to move to the other side of the world in a grand leap of faith. And people admire us, and our pictures hang on their church bulletin boards, and we sometimes make it into their pastors’ sermons.

But eventually all of that praise falls flat. It doesn’t feel so “Christian cool” when the real cost of living this life sets in.

I have nieces and nephews. Really beautiful, amazing little people who I enjoy immensely. Knowing they will be years older the next time I see them stabs me deep. Saying goodbye for a while to them and to sisters, brothers, parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, friends – this is a costly thing.

The homesickness that I know will sometimes smother us, the illnesses that will drain us, the culture shock and hard relationships and financial strain and uncertainty and long-term grief – these are all costs that we have counted and will count again.

But they are costs, not risks.

A risk is something with an uncertain result.

We know, we know what the result of moving forward in faith is. We will be held. Period.

No matter what.

No matter how steep the price of obedience, no matter how costly it is to listen to God’s Spirit.

There is no uncertainty here.

No spiritual high rollers here, gambling for God’s benevolent attention.

Simply a choice to believe that, no matter what, HE is enough.

And He is worth it.


  1. Ellie Gustafson
    Dec 1, 2014

    Beth, I’m so glad you have your own website, and I can comment directly to you. Again, I am so moved by your writing. I have been praying much for you all and the painful goodbyes that are imminent. May you be held up through it; may Chet and Fran be held up. This will be hard, but not like the old-time missionaries who said absolutely-final-no-going-back goodbyes. And there is Skype. : ) Know that our prayers will go with you. And our love.

  2. Kathleen
    Dec 1, 2014

    Yay! I totally agree: costs, not risks.

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