Ever played the game ‘Truth or Dare’? I remember playing it a few times at sleepovers as a teenager. For those who don’t know, it’s simple. Each person takes a turn, choosing whether they want to answer a question with the truth – usually something pretty personal – or do a dare. Questions get pretty deep around 3am at a sleepover full of teenaged girls, like which youth group boy you have a crush on :p
Not having had a crush on any of the boys at youth group and being far more terrified of what kind of dare a slightly hyper group of girls might come up with, the few times I played it, I always chose Truth.
I could say it was the easier option since I had nothing to hide but really, I was just a control freak with a heavy dose of scaredy cat. Not much has changed. Though I haven’t played that game in years, I can guarantee I’d still choose Truth every time.
And then, God dared me.
I didn’t even know we were playing.
I was just reading my Bible before bed, probably thinking more about what I needed to do tomorrow and whether the publisher I’d sent my manuscript to would ever get back to me than I was actually reading and out of nowhere… I. DARE. YOU.
I’m blaming Abraham. If he hadn’t dared to trust God – and Paul seen the need to point it out and use him as an example – I could have gone to bed happily worrying about all my fears. (Ok, not so happily but you know what I mean.)
But no. There it was black and white, printed clear as anything. Romans 4:17 (The Message).
‘Abraham was first called “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do.’ (Italics mine)
Abraham chose Dare.
Dared to trust God.
To do what only God could do.
The second verse of that chapter sums it up pretty well. ‘The story we’re given is a God-story, not an Abraham-story.’
The question was, could the same be said about me and my life, especially in regards to the writing I was stressing about?
Could I one day say, “Hannah was first called ‘author’, then became a published author because she dared to trust God to do what only God could do.” That, “Hannah’s story is a God-story, not a Hannah-story.”
Did I dare to trust God to do what he said he’d do? What only he could do?
I can do my best, make sure I send the cleanest copy of my manuscript to editors and put everything I have into proposals but I can’t actually make someone else’s decisions for them. I can’t make them choose me or my story. There are so many other factors out of my control – timing, whether or not the publishers have contracted another story like it recently, what sort of mood the reader is in, whether they have bad experiences with a person with the same name as the character I named… Only God can pull all that together.
Do I trust him?
Honestly? I’m struggling to. I know he can, he has before, he knows them, he knows me but the human side of me is seriously fighting for that control I don’t have. In my heart, I trust, but in my head? Oh boy am I failing.
But I want to be daring. I want to keep believing. I want to trust. And maybe that’s where it starts.
Faith is hard. Actually, I take that back. Faith is downright brutal sometimes. It’s taking everything I have right now to hold on to that faith and not my impatience. It’s a day by day, minute by minute choice to trust not in what I can do but what God can.
And, because I’m nice like that and love to share the fun around, I now challenge you – take the dare.
What is God daring you to do? What in your life can only be done by what God can do?
And the biggest question, do you dare?