As the seller for the 50/50 raffle passed by, my instincts told me that I should purchase some. At three for $5 and seven for $10, I felt it necessary to increase the odds of my winning by purchasing the full amount, times two. Twenty dollars later, when it came time to draw the winner, I quickly figured the odds of winning and saw a decent chance. So when the winning number was called, I scanned my tickets only to find it not amongst them. It was a calculated risk that didn’t pay off. We tend to take a decent amount of risks in life, and with risk there is the chance of great reward, but it is also tinged with the knowledge that there will be a chance of failure, too. Similarities can be drawn between the concepts of risk and trust, as both involve a stepping out into an unknown where uncertainty exists on the part of the one stepping out. It can seem that way when we don’t have all the answers. Case in point: picture the image of a small child sitting on a high ledge, where his father tells him “Jump, and I will catch you.” As far as the child is concerned, there is an element of risk and danger involved, one where the child may get hurt. Yet from the father’s perspective, there is no risk at all, as he is fully aware that he will indeed catch the child without issue. So it must seem to God when looking at us, His followers. When He tells us to take a leap in our faith, we too often associate that stepping out in faith with taking a risk, one where there is an element of danger and a possibility of failure, but to God and His promises, there is no risk involved, only trust. In Malachi, a prophesy is delivered to Israel where the priests are being challenged in their actions. They have been called to step out in faith, but hesitate to do so, holding back their offerings: “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it’” (3.10). The idea of a tithe is that it is an offering that God has called you to give with promises of blessings in return, yet the priests in this story hold back some of the tithe, thinking that they need it, that the blessings will not be enough to cover the sacrifice. They associate faith with risk, and God tells them to test Him. Similarly, we hesitate to step out in faith because we associate trust with risk, and we limit His blessings by limiting our sacrifices, trusting in the tangible instead. We see our broken heart as we hesitate to trust, limiting His healing. We see debt as we hesitate to give, limiting His returns. We see the frustration of our situation as we hesitate to hope, limiting His renewal. If you boil down the Bible to a series of promises from God, you will see that God desires a trusting relationship, not one built on risk and chance. He is faithful to His promises, put there so that we could put our trust in Him, eliminating chance and risk altogether. When we needlessly hesitate, we limit the rewards. So, this week, jump without hesitation. Know that He will catch you with a host of blessings waiting for you. Amen.