Today as we ate lunch my husband and I watched a squirrel trying to get a green pecan on the end of a very thin branch. He went as far as he felt safe, then looked like he was trying to figure out how to reach that pecan, maybe from another limb. Obviously fear of falling kept him going all the way to the end to grab his prize. Finally the branch shook so much from the squirrel’s movement that the pecan fell off onto the ground. Even though the pecan was reachable, he still had to crawl back up a long limb, then down the tree and across the distance to eat his fill.
I thought of Abram (later named Abraham) who had to go out on a thin limb too when God told him to leave his family and go to a strange land a long distance from his home (Genesis 12:1). Abram had to be sure that God was the one telling him to leave behind everyone and everything he knew, or he could have been in serious trouble.
Simply doing what God tells us to do doesn’t mean we instantly reach our goal. It was about 25 years after Abram left his home that his son Isaac was born. Often we must work even more to finish the task or have the faith to see our promise come true. We see that lesson from the squirrel too.
Another point is that we must be sure we’re on the right limb if we’re going out on it; otherwise, what we’re doing is foolish. Missionaries travel that same limb that Abram did so many centuries ago. God sends them to places they don’t know and to people they don’t know to serve the people by serving Him, in whatever way He’s called them to serve.
Most of us aren’t missionaries so our limbs aren’t a foreign country. But God does call us to use our faith and trust Him over various situations, whether they’re relationships, finances, jobs or health. He says, “Trust me in this circumstance.” We must then choose whether we’ll go out on that limb and how far we’ll go. Will we go the distance God calls us to go?