Everywhere we look we find risks. Will we keep our jobs? Will our children grow up successful? Will we be able to pay the bills next month? Will that special person in my life stay with me when times are tough, especially when I am the source of the trouble?
Last week I left Taiwan within minutes of a 6.2 earthquake. It was a strange experience, waiting in the cavernous area beside the gate with the building shaking and every person in sight wondering what they should be doing. How do you mitigate the risk of an earthquake in progress? I knew I should be under a desk or a doorframe but those alternatives where not ones that were available at the time. So what should I do?
Risks are everywhere. There is good advice when it comes to money. “Hold tight to collateral on any loan to a stranger; beware of accepting what a transient has pawned.” (Proverbs 20.16) But this does not mean that the risks are totally eliminated. Is there any hope or are we doomed to a life of worry? Is risk really the problem or the gateway to the solution? Do we focus on hope which ultimately is about upside opportunities or spend time managing the risks that surround us?
The God I know does not excuse or even try to explain the risks in our lives. God merely states that they exists, are truly life threatening, and will get worse if you focus on hope. God also goes on to say that it is hope, specially the hope that God freely offers to each of us, that we have the opportunity to break free of the long-term chains of fear, pain, and suffering.
Life is about hope or fear, nothing in between. I look outside and I see the sun trying to break through the clouds. I find young green shoots reaching up in hope in the garden plants. I experience the smiles and laughter of children. Everywhere I look I see God’s hope – readily and available for each.