I love cardinals, I’ve probably spoke of it before. Currently if you follow me on Facebook, you will even see that my page has an awesome picture of a row a cardinal all lined up on a fence. Over the last few years, these beautiful birds have played a role of spiritual significance for me. Many who know this often share with me pictures and quotes concerning the cardinal.
Recently a friend shared with me a post from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Many of you may have her devotional book or get her daily post as well. The image was of a plump red cardinal sitting on an icy limb with this quote, “be willing to go out on a limb with me…if that’s where I am leading you, it is the safest place to be.”
As I make a transition in my life, the quote couldn’t be timelier. There are days when I seem to be on the verge of overwhelming tears. I start feeling incapable and question myself when things seem uncertain. Quickly I remind myself that I must move forward without fear…with a confidence that God has and is calling me to a new place, a new way of ministry, a new and exciting opportunity to change lives.
Being out on the limb can also feel lonely, especially when no one knows or understand what you are doing, or even why. I’ve realized that for much of my adult life I have only taken risk that were a sure thing or stepped out when I knew that the cost to fail were minimal. I’ve always seemed to have a plan B. For me to have complete faith and trust in God’s call, this time there is no plan B. And what I’ve learned is it’s about God’s plan, and not mine.
The safest place to be is where God is leading, however great or small that may seem to you. Even the smallest steps can bring to us reassurance that we can trust where God may be leading. Being out on the limb requires us to stay alert, be ever aware and mindful of the many things that can try and break that limb.
In those moments when I feel tears starting to well, I must ask myself, why? Are they tears of joy, or tears of anxiety or fear? When I know them to be tears that want to derail me from God’s plan, I must remain steadfast in knowing that God’s love and grace far outweigh any inadequacy I may feel. I must hear my own words in my head, “God doesn’t call the equipped, but rather he equips the called.” And I must remember that even if I am out on a limb, that I am never alone because Christ is communicating with me all the while I hold His hand in trusting dependence.