Episode #2: Risk – Unconventional Gratitude
From Today’s Episode:
Welcome! We’re in our Unconventional Gratitude Series and today’s topic is Risk.
1 Samuel 3:10–11
God, what's something true that I can hold onto as I I take risks & walk with you?
Here’s the episode transcript
Welcome friends! We’re releasing this episode as we enter the month of November, but no matter when you’re joining us, every season is a good season to cultivate thanksgiving. I thought it’d be fun to offer a series on Unconventional Gratitude, giving thanks for things we normally may not consider to be grateful for and today’s topic is Risk.
Lots of things in life present risks like big decisions, moves, and adventurous opportunities. Every time we try something new there’s inherent risk. And with our podcast focus on building a conversational relationship with God, it got me thinking.
It can feel risky to talk with God, AND feel risky to take action based on what you hear him say.
What if you don't hear anything? What if you hear him wrong? What if you don't like what he says about something? No matter your hesitations, don’t let the risk keep you away. The reward of constantly growing in our relationship with God is worth the journey.
Risk becomes a catalyst for gratitude when we see stretching moments, and even awkward mistakes, as tools that help us know God and rely on him more. You can likely even look back on past seasons of your life, and recognize that what felt daunting or what presented a huge risk in that moment, has become a Hallmark memory of God's faithfulness, provision, and care in your life.
It reminds me of the record of young Samuel learning to hear and respond to God in 1 Samuel 3. Now Samuel would later become a prophet, an official spokesperson of God's messages. But let’s look back at a pivotal experience in his relationship with God. In 1 Samuel 3, he was ministering to the Lord in the temple and hadn’t ever heard God speak. Four times God calls out his name and the first three times Samuel thinks it’s the priest Eli calling for him. After the third time, Eli realizes that it was God so he tells Samuel how to respond.
Picking it up in 1 Samuel 3:10,11, “And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel said, ‘Speak, for your servant hears.’ Then the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Behold, I am about to do a thing…’”
As I talked with God about this story, one of the things we talked about was how I only noticed before how Samuel missed it 3 times. It wasn’t until reading it again that God drew my attention to how Samuel heard him all 4 times, he just didn’t know it, or know what to do.
That’s encouraging to me because I can relate. I’ve had seasons of not hearing God and times I’ve heard him but I didn’t recognize that he was talking. I’ve heard him but didn’t realize what he was telling me until much later. I’ve also heard him and didn’t know what to do with what I heard.
I’m so grateful that we get to grow in our relationship with God in these ways! Even in the times when I was unsure or didn’t know what to do, God proved faithful and kept inviting me closer.
I also love how this story allows us to see God's patient persistence to keep speaking even when we don’t get it the first time. And the response we can model of asking God to keep talking with us. “Here I am, I’m listening.” That’s such a great example for times we feel like we don’t hear him. We know he speaks so we ask him to talk with us and practice listening.
There are so many things related to “taking risks” with God that can prompt gratitude in our hearts! Now’s the time to take this concept into conversation with God. Begin by thinking about what you find risky in your relationship with God right now. Consider it so you can then talk with God about it. As you do so, the free resources listed in the show notes may help, as they include journaling pages and a curated Spotify playlist.
Here’s our question: God, here I am and I’d like to talk with you about this area of risk. What's something true that I can hold onto as I take risks and walk with you in this season? As you talk together, ask God “how” or “what do you mean” type questions whenever helpful and express gratitude for what he shares with you. He’s calling you by name and he has good in store for you.
God, here I am and I’d like to talk with you about this area of risk. What's something true that I can hold onto as I take risks and walk with you in this season?
Have a good talk!
And if you’ve been encouraged by this content, please share it with a friend and help them grow in their conversational relationship with God too!
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