“Oh Hannah!”. As she twists her body so that she is going head first to the ground from the couch. “She knows her Daddy has her,” says the Dad as he guides her gently onto the floor, hands holding her tight. Then away she goes…

Yes, she knows…do I? I have never been a consistent risk taker. Here and there I shock myself, but overall I stay painfully safe. I don’t like what I do not know; I live afraid. Afraid of what may be, that I’m not enough, that I will fail, that I’ll disappoint…afraid that I will fall and hurt and be humiliated. So, I haven’t risked a lot…I haven’t lived a lot. I even put some information about a really good ministry aside because it would require me to call businesses and ask for money to help feed orphans. What would they think of me…you know the person on the other end of the line that they can’t see and don’t know! I fear…He says “Fear NOT!”

So I watched this little One Year Old Wonder today. I saw her twist and turn and try to take steps and, yes, fall. Sometimes the fall hurts and she cries, but it has yet to keep her from trying again. The persistence and patience a child is born with is amazing, and I am reminded that I was once a child. Where did the risk in my life go? Which tumble or skinned knee or embarrassing moment did me in? Most importantly, where do I find it again?

I think of the times I have been in foreign countries sharing about Jesus’ love, or in a small Indian village playing and laughing with children I may never see again, or the time I left everything and everyone I knew and traveled to Missouri to go to a college where I knew no one, or when I held each of the four blessings in skin that God has given me. I have had moments of risk – of not staying in the safe place. So how do I make a life out of that instead of enjoying just a few peppered occasions?

Just like I dare to get out of bed to face each day with hope and thanksgiving, I must look each situation straight in the face with the same.

When I feel the nervous movement churning in my stomach, I must remember I am walking with a Savior Who made the waves and then walked on them!

Remember Who’s business I’m really about – Who’s life I’m really living out in this world. Is it my face and pride and recognition that I’m after?  Or would I give up every title, friend, and bit of pride to make sure He is glorified?

Keep eyes on the eternal.  When I remember that I’m not home yet, that I have an eternity to be loved and liked and safe, I am more likely to take that step, pick up that phone, go to that place, talk to that person, make that decision…step out in real faith.

I turn my eyes back to the Little Girl whose name means “Grace”, and I know now how to take the life-risk…by grace.

For it is by grace…