I recently read a Blog Post by Jason Johnson (you can read the full blog post here: http://jasonjohnsonblog.com/blog/the-power-of-proximity) and part of this particular blog shared a story about one heroic man. This specific man saved a total stranger from a car that was on fire. Majority of the people on the scene either watched or recorded the whole thing on their phones. Only ONE person jumped in to help.
"After realizing the seriousness of the situation just a few yards ahead of him, he noticed everyone else was understandably moving away from the burning car - but he never stopped moving towards it. Then with one swift move, Aram grabbed the man from behind the wheel and pulled him to safety. When asked later by reporters why he did it, Aram matter of factly responded, “Nobody was pulling him out. I figured if we don't, he's going die. So, why not me.” We’ve heard Aram’s heroic story dozens of times. Change the names, the location and some aspects of the circumstances and the stories all carry that same iconic theme - someone decides in a sudden moment that the risk of not doing something is greater than the risk of doing it; that the danger of moving towards it is great, but not nearly as great as the danger of moving away from it. That’s the choice Aram was faced with that day - and the choice, to some extent, we’re all forced to make at some point in one way or another. Certainly, Aram knew the risks of what he was doing that day, but he also understood the costs of doing nothing at all. So, he moved towards the fire, not away."
WOW! "The risk of NOT doing something is greater than the risk of doing it; the danger of moving towards it is great, but not nearly as great as the danger of moving away from it. So he moved towards the fire, not away from it."
I think a lot of people want to do heroic things, be good people, step in to protect someone, go out of their way to help; yet, when the time comes to actually put action to our words, we clam up. We get scared and wonder if this is ACTUALLY what we are supposed to be doing. In reality, I believe that fear makes decisions for us a lot more than we realize. I am not saying we should all run towards a burning car to save a complete stranger. Yet, I am saying that.
It's easy to do some things and hard to do others. But what if the hard things are the very things God wants us to run towards? What if the hard places, the broken places, the places that may kill us are the places he uses to completely change our entire world for the good, for the better? What if our fear shifted and we didn't fear so much what running towards the fire would do to us or our families, but more than that, we feared what would happen to us if we didn't run towards the fire?
I can't help but think of Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 22:1-18). How God had clearly given him direction (a command) to take his son (his only son, the one he and his wife had prayed for for so long) and offer him as a burnt sacrifice. Even though Abraham was sad with grief and probably didn't understand why God was asking him to do such a thing, he obeyed anyway. He took his son up the mountain and had faith that God would provide a way out. He even proved that to his son when his son asked where the lamb was for the burnt offering. And as most of you know, God did provide a way out. At the moment Abraham tied up Isaac , the Angel of the Lord stopped him. The Lord provided a ram in the thicket. He provided right on time. He came through for Abraham even when Abraham was afraid and didn't understand. He came through because Abraham was obedient. Abraham went toward the fire, and because of that, he was blessed! He was blessed because of His obedience. Do you think Abraham felt equipped to go and sacrifice his one and only son? NO WAY. Yet he was walking so closely with the Lord that he knew he didn't need to be or feel equipped with what God called him or asked him to do. He knew and had faith that God would provide. He trusted God to provide.
Do we? Do we trust that when God calls us to hard things that He will provide ALL we need? Do we trust that God has our best interest in mind and that when He calls us to hard things, he is doing so to better us, to mold us, to change us and to grow our faith?
We should all be doing something that stretches us, makes us uncomfortable and pulls us outside of that little circle or box we find ourselves living in sometimes (or all the time). My life certainly doesn't look like I thought it would. There are times in my life when I wish things were totally different than they are! There are seasons, moments, hours and days where I fight and struggle the thoughts of wanting a family that I can call MINE and not a family that comes and goes. Not children that are always leaving and children I fall in love with yet have to say goodbye to in a couple months or a couple of years. That is hard. That SUCKS to be blunt. Yet, even in all the sadness and pain, I see His hand. I see His heart. I see His good in it. And I see him molding our family, little by little.
What fire do you need to run towards? It may make absolutely no sense to anyone around you and it may make absolutely no sense to you. Run towards it anyway!