Daunting . . . God’s Divine Invitation to Live Daring


Daunting . . . God’s Divine Invitation to Live Daring

Last week I shared the story of how God used a rainbow to speak hope and faith to our hearts during the weekend we were moving Jenna, one of our twin daughters, to her new university. The moment we spotted the rainbow, although we knew it was from the Lord, a spiritual battle broke out in our hearts … so here is “the rest of the story”:

The rainbow, a beautiful luminous display of color, was only a small, straight segment rather than a full bow. Jenna, feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the daunting obstacles she was facing was decidedly underwhelmed by the size of the rainbow. With a wry smile, she responded, “A tiny rainbow for the tiny things God is going to do in my life.”

The ensuing laughter was stress-relieving, but her comment voiced my personal faith struggle and reminded me how easily difficulties and obstacles can breed cynicism and diminish my perspective of God’s greatness.

I was reminded of someone in the Bible who had experienced a similar struggle. That very morning I had been reading in Genesis 18 – the story of God promising Abraham that he and his elderly wife Sarah would have a son the following year. Sarah, overhearing the conversation, laughed and thought about how ridiculous it was that an old worn-out woman like her would have a baby. (Genesis 18:13)

I can totally relate to Sarah’s eye-rolling moment of cynicism and doubt. Can you imagine how hard it would have been for this 90 year-old woman to believe God’s promise … after so many long years of hoping and praying and believing only to be disappointed time and time again? Can you imagine the heartache she’d endured?

Sarah was overwhelmed by the daunting obstacles in her path and decidedly underwhelmed by the timing of God’s promise!

But I love how the Lord meets her with grace in her moment of unbelief, highlighting His majestic greatness and repeating His promise: “Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year and Sarah will have a son.” (Genesis 18:14)

It might surprise you to learn that in spite of her battle to believe, Sarah is included in the Hebrews “Hall of Faith”. “It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep His promise.” (Hebrews 11:11)

Yes, Sarah had an eye-rolling moment of cynicism – but she wrestled her faith to the ground. Years of ongoing disappointment coupled with the pain of unmet expectations made it difficult for her to believe that God would finally keep His promise … but in what is surely a divinely orchestrated opportunity to flex faith muscles that needed a new challenge … Sarah surrendered to the Lord’s plan and even embraced His timing. Somewhere along the line … she let go of her heartache, self- pity and bitterness … and she believed … with all her heart.

In her raw authenticity, I find hope for my cynical moments.

Even though we’d often prefer an easier path to spiritual maturity, I think most of us understand that developing “against-all-odds” kind of faith requires “against-all-odds” kind of situations.

Without daunting we’d never be daring. Without obstacles we’d never be overcomers. Without battles we’d never be victorious. Without adversaries we’d never be conquerors.

So maybe instead of avoiding the daunting obstacles in our lives, we should rise to the challenge, holding unswervingly to the hope that with God on our side, victory is certain and assured. Maybe everything that’s daunting and difficult in our lives is really a gift … a divine invitation to become the conquering heroes God’s created us to be.

What if … daunting is simply God’s divine invitation to live daring …