In the same way, we can see and understand only a little about God now, as if we were peering at his reflection in a poor mirror; but someday we are going to see him in his completeness, face-to-face. Now all that I know is hazy and blurred, but then I will see everything clearly, just as clearly as God sees into my heart right now. [1 Corinthians 13:12 (TLB)]
One look at the Bible’s heroes makes it clear that obstacles and challenges are an unavoidable part of doing God’s work. While those people of faith knew doing God’s work wouldn’t be trouble-free, did they realize it would be so very hard? Consider Moses—he knew it would be challenging when he signed on to lead the Israelites, but he didn’t know it would be a forty year commitment. If he’d foreseen the decades of complaints, rebellion and continual disobedience and known he’d never even get to enter the Promised Land once there, would he still have accepted God’s assignment? If David had seen the trials and battles that would plague him for fifteen years before ever becoming king, would the young shepherd have told Samuel to go find another fellow to anoint? What about Mary? If she had known about the journey to Bethlehem, giving birth in a stable, being exiled to Egypt, and the pain of seeing her child crucified, would she so willingly have accepted God’s plan? Would Elizabeth have welcomed her pregnancy if she’d known her beloved son’s head would be served on a platter to Herodias? Although Paul and the Apostles realized it would be demanding, would they have been as enthusiastic in their evangelism if they’d seen all the struggle, imprisonments, persecution and martyrdom that lay ahead for them? Granted, some like Moses, hesitated about their ability to serve God but, once God assured them they were up to the task, they accepted it. None of them knew what the future held for them and yet each of them did all that was asked of them. Putting their unknown futures into the hands of a known God, they trusted Him, followed His plan step by step, and boldly did His work.
Like the Bible’s heroes, let us fearlessly go forth, trusting our future to God, going wherever he sends us and doing what He calls us to do, secure in the knowledge that He is with us, wherever we go.
God will not have his work made manifest by cowards. [Ralph Waldo Emerson]