Doing Life Together

Three Ways to Take the Greatest Risk This Year

adventurer (1)

As we head into the New Year, there is one goal that stands above all the others for me. And it is not a goal I plan on reaching in my lifetime. It is this- to love God and love people.

An everyday {advent}urer is not only willing, but looking for ways to take the greatest risk
in life and that is … to love.

As we conclude this series on having an everyday {advent}urer’s heart, I can think of no better way to end it than looking to Jesus. Still without words, Jesus mysteriously reveals to us what it looks like for us to take the risk of love in our everyday life and in doing so find the adventure that our hearts were made for.

Let’s take a peek into the scene of His birth and listen to his coos and cries because I believe God Himself is speaking even without language.

1. Stay human and humble.

“She’ll bear a son and name him Immanuel (God-With-Us).” {Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23}

God with us. Have we really stopped to think about the implications of this reality and allowed it to influence the way we love people?

“When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process.” {Philippians 2:5-6, MSG}

He could have escaped quite easily. But Jesus stayed human. He fully entered into our flesh and bone, taking on our suffering, carrying our sickness, walking in our sandals.

We glorify our one time acts of humility. We are experts of escape when life is tough. But what would it look like for you and I to stay human in our life, in our love? To actually walk alongside and deeply relate to those God places in our midst instead of taking shortcuts on love?

Instead of snapping the photo of our humble deed what if we risked staying in the present?

2. Embrace smallness and simplicity.

“She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger…” {Luke 2:7}

God wrapped in a blanket, lying in a manger? A strange thought indeed. But He had a purpose with that lowly position – to show us that real love isn’t complicated. It doesn’t come with a hidden agenda or require flawless performance. His love is simple, childlike, in the sense that it is not concerned with prestige or power.

He could have come differently, but He chose not to. Instead God decided to show His love here in the simplicity of a manger and a blanket.

When the disciples were arguing about who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven Jesus remarks, “Whoever embraces one of these children…embraces me, and far more than me- God who sent me.” {Mark 9:36-37, MSG}

Are we willing to sink into the smallness, perhaps even disappear? Are we willing to embrace the simplicity of a child, to put aside our obsession with power and prestige, to be seen and heard…To selflessly love and celebrate others without being recognized?

I think God is asking us this- can you embrace the baby in the manger and perhaps in the smallness you will see eternity?

“The size of our ministry isn’t proof of the success of your ministry …viral is closely associated to sickness. Because when you don’t need to be seen and heard- you can see and hear in desperately needed ways.” Ann Voskamp 

Can we, like Jesus, accept and welcome smallness and simplicity in our lives, trusting that in doing so we actually bring the brightness and beauty of God’s glory into our homes, into other’s hearts, into our neighborhood and out to the nations?

3. Don’t be scared of the seasons.

“For a child has been born—for us!
the gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over
the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
    Strong God,
Eternal Father,
    Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He’ll rule from the historic David throne
over that promised kingdom…” Isaiah 9:6-7 (MSG)

 Jesus could have come as a grown man, already understanding and walking in His calling as Savior of the World. But again, he didn’t. He knew who He was, but in coming as a cooing baby, He willingly subjected Himself to a process of becoming, of growth. A birthed baby, an anointed son, an Amazing Counselor, and Strong God all at once!

God isn’t scared of the seasons because He understands that real love embraces the becoming. Growth and change aren’t just part of life, they are necessary to intimacy with Him, to this adventure.

Dear friend, you don’t have to have it all together already. Jesus didn’t…  and neither does anyone else. Because God sees us as His child, His beloved, but also as complete in Him.  He knows who we are and who we are becoming.

God doesn’t have a favorite season of our lives. He love doesn’t grow stronger as we grow more mature. His love actually takes delight in our becoming, after all He created the process.

But how often do we expect perfection from ourselves and others? We offer grace within boundaries. Let’s choose instead to make space in the soil of our hearts, giving people permission to grow deep roots or shoot up tall.

Through Jesus’ birth, God gives us permission to enjoy the process (in us and others) of becoming all we are created to be!


 

 As advent comes to a close soon, let’s continue being everyday {advent}urer’s! Will you join me in saying YES to adventures with God this year and taking the most beautiful risk of all- loving Him and loving others?

If you’d like to join a community of other women hungry for adventure with God then sign up for
monthly Adventure Letters!

If you’d like to catch up on the rest of the Advent Series here are the links below:

The Heart of An Everyday {Advent}urer

What If You Said Yes?

Five Things to Remember if You’re Thinking About {Or Afraid of!} Trying Something New

What To Do When You’re Facing Obstacles {a lesson from some wise men}

 

 

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