Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.
“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” is a proverb so many of us were raised with. From our childhood we are taught that we should hold onto what is certain instead of going for the unsure thing. We are taught that risk isn’t worth it through this proverb. I would even say that this proverb teaches against faith. It wants us to hold on to what we have instead of letting go to see what God might give us.
Abraham was a man who walked by faith. In Genesis 12:1, the Lord said to Abram, “Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s home, and go to a land that I am going to show you” (NLT). In this verse, God is asking Abram to let go of the bird in the hand. He had security where he was. He had his father’s inheritance coming to him and the protection of family too. God was saying, “Walk away from all of this, and I will give you more than you could ever imagine or think of.”
I believe God still speaks that to us today. I believe He calls each one of us to trust Him on a level beyond where we are so that He can give us more than we have. The promise is only good if we let go of the bird in the hand. Abram was promised descendants, a nation, blessings and fame if only he would walk away from everything he knew. I wonder how long he wrestled with it. I wonder how long he questioned if he had really heard from God.
Because Abram was human, you know he had to struggle with these questions just like you and I. The difference is that he was willing let go of the temporary for the eternal. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” God has called you and I to live by the same faith he required of Abram. He calls us to let go of the bird in the hand and to trust Him. When we do, He rewards us with so much more.
One of my favorite things I used to do was to go float the Frio river. There’s something about lazily floating down the river in an inner tube with no worries. Eventually, as you’d float along, you’d come to a bend in the river that had created a cliff. At that cliff, there would be people who would climb up and jump off into the water. It looked like a blast. I paddled over to the shore, climbed up the side of the cliff and walked to the edge. That’s when it hit me: that’s a long way down.
Immediately fear crept in. I know knew why so many in front of me walked up to the edge and turned around. As I stood there contemplating whether or not to jump, my mind begin to think of every negative outcome. What if I hit a rock and was paralyzed the rest of my life? What if I messed up and belly flopped in front of everyone? What if I turned around and got back in my inner tube and kept floating? What if everyone behind me laughs? I could feel my heart beating in my throat as I stood there looking over.
Since that time, I’ve been to Acapulco and watched the famous cliff divers there. They were amazing. They had no fear. They climbed even higher than I had at the Frio. Their cliff was more treacherous. They stood up as crowds watch and video and took the leap. Some were doing inverted flips and then spreading their arms like wings to gracefully fly towards the water. I wish I could say that’s what my jump looked like. Mine looked more like a pencil being dropped into a glass of water vertically.
I’ve found that in my life right now I’ve been called out of a life of floating along. I’ve been called to take that leap off faith. I’m standing on the cliff right now looking down. Those thoughts of doubt creep in and make me fearful of taking that leap. There is uncertainty of what the future will look like after I leave the ledge. I have a choice. I can turn around and get back in my inner tube and float along or I can jump. My heart beats with anticipation. There’s excitement and fear at the same time.
Where are you today? Are you floating along safely in your inner tube? Are you looking at others who are jumping off their cliff and wishing you had the guts to do that? Maybe your climbing up the rocky cliff now and wondering how much longer you have to climb. You could be standing in line watching other turn away in fear and starting to doubt getting out of the inner tube. Are you standing on the edge of that cliff, looking over and thinking, “What if I fail?” Wherever you are, I pray today that you have the courage to keep going until you jump off that ledge.