Dan our fantastic student was saying his testimony and the conversation moved onto making steps of faith from times of comfort.
Annette, a lady in the group, talked about the “Golden Handcuffs” of our security and stability. when we are comfortable in our life, maybe we are doing really well at work, maybe we have a really good standard of living, maybe we have a mortgage to pay… Or whatever it is we sometimes fear that obedience to God’s call may jeopardise our comfort, position or security.
I know when we were praying about leaving, part of the challenge was the security of an income, provision of pension, housing (which comes with the job)… the phrase golden handcuffs felt appropriate as although these are all wonderful things, they can leave us feeling trapped and imprisoned. I wondered too, if I was single, or before we had a child, whether the choice would have been easier, sometimes trusting God for ourselves and our future is (somewhat) easier than trusting him for our loved ones.
A wonderful friend (a vicar) was talking too a senior cleric about stepping out in faith, and this (very “successful”) senior minister welled up talking about how he left a situation he felt really called too out of his fears for his family, my friends step of faith touched a nerve of regret, at the steps of faith untaken -held back by those golden handcuffs. My friend simply said to me “I know I can trust Jesus with my family”, and even though at the time my family was actually going through a tough time at that time, there was something of this truth that really struck me and challenged me.
Although life isn’t easy and plain sailing the best, most fulfilled, blessed and safest place for us and those we love is right in the centre of Christ’s will for our lives.
I know two wonderful friends, who both I am convinced have a call (to ordination/Church leadership) on their lives, both were talking about this and both have really excelled in their careers, and the talk of ordination has slipped off the radar. I wonder if these two guys probably feel like it is the golden-handcuffs holding them back?
Yet I heard another friend talking about his experience of God “always calling from a positive” -always is a dangerous word to use of God- but there does seem to be a principal here, that God often calls us to that sacrificial step when we are in a position of strength rather than just jumping on the first opportunity of escape that came along.
Yet, even if you’ve missed a God opportunity -or maybe even opportunities- I was reminded (again by Dan!) that God is like a SatNav and gives us an opportunity for a U-turn, or re-working our route to help us arrive at our destination. A verse I was struck with too, was that “all things work for the good of those who love him”, and sometimes even if we have gone wrong, or taken too long to jump (or whatever it is) God is still faithful and his ability to bless is not diminished.
So, a challenge, is there something holding us back?
Is there things we should be doing that maybe we have been held back from?
“Those whom the Son sets free shall be free indeed”, and that includes us who maybe have got addicted to our comfortable life, our secure positions, or our personal (or family security).
Let us break the shackles that bind us, because even if they are golden handcuffs they are still shackles, and we need liberating from them.