Risk vs. Luck

The Latest Word from John Ed Mathison

Last week I wrote about the relationship of luck to hard work and God’s sovereignty. One aspect of experiencing miraculous events is the element of risk.

Edith L. Russell was a survivor of the Titanic disaster on April 14, 1912. 1,513 people died—there were 711 survivors. Miss Russell was said to be one of the next-to-last to leave the sinking liner.

Miss Russell died at the age of 98. She had a good sense of humor as she said, “I’m accident-prone. I’ve been in shipwrecks, car crashes, fires, floods and tornadoes. I’ve had every disaster but bubonic plague and a husband.”

She wrote that as the Titanic was sinking, people were getting into lifeboats. She couldn’t jump because she was too nervous.

She had previously survived a car crash in France. Following that event someone had given her a stuffed pig with a built-in music box. It was given to her for good luck. She was clutching the pig.

A sailor grabbed the pig and threw it into the lifeboat. Miss Russell said, “I am going after the good luck pig,” and jumped. As she became one of the survivors, people from all over the world came to visit her to touch that pig for good luck.

She survived the Titanic, not because of a good luck pig, but because she took the risk of jumping into the lifeboat. When Peter started to walk on the water, it wasn’t luck but it was because he was willing to get out of the boat and walk on the water. He took the risk.

Peter discovered that the water to which Jesus had invited him was as solid as the wood in the boat. Walking on water wasn’t luck—it was the faith to take the risk.

Life isn’t about luck—it is about the risk of trusting God enough to jump. Someone has described commitment as “a leap of faith.” It is a willingness to leave a point of security and take the risk of “jumping” to follow the invitation of Jesus.

Ask God to help you respond properly to His invitation for a “risky” day!

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