They said we were crazy and we probably were. But we’ve got a story to tell. It was May 1989 when we embarked on this adventure. “It’ll never work,” they said. “Don’t do it! Use common sense!” But we read Oswald Chambers too often, finding there words which resonated in our hearts.
“So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me’,” (Mark 14:29-30).
“The wind really was boisterous and the waves really were high, but Peter didn’t see them at first. He didn’t consider them at all; he simply recognized his Lord, stepped out in recognition of Him, and walked on the water,” Oswald Chambers states.
Only after taking his eyes off the Lord and doubt replaced trust did Peter start going down.
If you debate for even one second when God has spoken, it is all over for you. Never start to say, ‘Well, I wonder if He really did speak to me?’ Be reckless immediately— totally unrestrained and willing to risk everything— by casting your all upon Him. (My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers)
Words that encouraged us to follow God immediately and recklessly, risking all on him.
Reckless abandon, Chambers called it. Friends and family: just plain foolishness.
Death by starvation was the forecast. Or at best an ignoble return home in utter failure. And by all logic, we shouldn’t still be here. But almost 30 years have gone by with good times and bad. Times of plenty and of lack. And we’re still here declaring that God is the God of reckless abandon!
Times were rough in our earliest years, expenses towering over income. And though we practiced simple living at its best, we often had to count pennies for food. Offerings have picked up some over the years. Though I wonder if that’s good. Those earlier years, in every way, were the best of our lives. And now we’ve got a tale to tell.
For through the reckless abandon Chambers speaks of, we learned to recognize God’s voice and his ways.
Perhaps a life of reckless abandon isn’t necessary for everyone. But we have found that comfortable living does not force us to cast our all on God, but lulls us into a peaceful passivity.
We set out with basically nothing. Just 2 kids and 8 suitcases. No support base, no money in the bank, no property or assets, and very little cash. It was craziness. It still is. But we’re still here. Still following with the same reckless abandon. And that’s why we have a story to tell. God’s story in our lives.
Like Peter walking on the water, we should have sunk long ago. And would have, but for God’s faithfulness. He never let go of our hand and never failed.
And now, in our 29th year here in Italy, we find the wind still boisterous, the waves high. Life will never be without trials and difficulties. But even in the midst of the storms, God takes care of us. Even providing two houses on our below poverty level income!
God wants us to keep our eyes on him and follow with wild, reckless abandon…
But things can become a snare to this. Plenty and ease capture our vision, making us think we can’t live without them.
And poverty can likewise ensnare us. We wonder if the Lord has forgotten us. And with downcast soul, all we can see are the problems and dangers.
But with our eyes on him, in good times and in bad, we learn that the One who calms the wind and the waves will always care for us. And that even were we to sink, we would find ourselves in his arms, even at the bottom of the sea.
We see that following with reckless abandon is foolishness only if we fail to recognize him.
And all who follow that path have a special story to tell. It’s the tale of God’s great faithfulness and care!