Do you ever feel out on a limb with God?
Scripture is packed with stories of men and women out on limbs and they sure sound great in the telling, several thousand years later, though you can’t help wondering
how Abraham felt, exactly, packing up that mountain with his son and a butcher knife
how Gideon felt sneaking up on the bad guys with a pitcher and a trumpet
how Elijah felt in the moment of dumping the twelfth barrel of water over a soggy fire pit with four hundred people watching
how Jochebed felt when she put her boychild into the Nile river in a homemade raft sort of thing and hoped it wouldn’t leak
how Ruth felt slipping into the tent of a man and adjusting his bedclothes.
Faith, says the Hebrews man, is the substance of things hoped for. Substance. Substance means stuff, not ideas. Faith is the butcher knife and the pitcher, the firewood and the cheap reed basket, the trumpet and the blanket of a man. Faith is assembling supplies: lining up a physical and utterly ridiculous substance that gives silent testimony to things not seen. That substance is a bet, if you will, on a God who has promised to come through.
Our job, as far I can see it, is to assemble the pieces.
Which gives a whole other level of meaning to that verse in Psalms.
The most uncomfortable part is not the gathering of supplies. It’s the moment immediately afterward, when all has been collected and we find there is nothing more to be done. The wood is arranged. The bad guys are sleeping. The baby is afloat.
And then we are poised.
Poised feels to the principal players almost exactly like hung out to dry. Here in this position we have Naaman coming up from his sixth dip still leprous, Elijah praying for rain, Jesus suffocating on the cross. The stage is set. The sun is going down. The world is watching (and laughing in its sleeve).
Out on a limb. Do you still doubt He will come through for you?