I have long loved this quote from Chronicles of Narnia …
“Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”.
“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.”
― C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver … “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
Last week, I blogged about putting God in a Box … Thinking we can figure out all His ways/character and actually living on the presumption that we know Him fully. How we misguidedly think we can predict our future based on knowing Him.
I’ve surmised over the years … we do that because it makes us feel secure, safe, protected.
Who among us likes to deal with an irrational person? One who acts from angles and perceptions we don’t understand? It can be terrifying, frustrating, unnerving, impossible to feel safe and grounded. I spent a semester, in nursing school, in a locked psychiatric ward at a state psychiatric hospital. The unit I worked on was for committed individuals; there for life. It was all of those things! I had no clue where their actions, reactions, outbursts and threats came from. Let me just say … I had every reason to feel afraid! When the risks outweighed safety, we retreated to the nurse’s station; the safest place we could find with a locked door.
This is why we test and measure God based on our perimeters and our sense of security. We seek safety.
In child development classes, one of the first things you learn is that a sense of safety and security is vital/foundational to healthy growth. Seeking safety is innate to us. If we feel safe, we handle life. Which explains Lucy’s question in the Chronicles of Narnia. She had experienced unsafe beings and feared doing so again. She wanted the knowledge and first-hand account of safety before she met Aslan; Lewis’ characterization of God.
Here is the part that makes some quiver and settle for faith in a box they understand ….
God is not safe!!
Ok … I hear you … what about the verses in the Bible that say God is our refuge, fortress, etc.? I believe He is, but why do you need refuge or a fortress if the world God created and is in control of is safe?
The universe God set in motion is wild, unpredictable, terrifying at times, unnerving and does not provide us safety from life’s toughest blows! Ask any parent who has lost a child!
The world will stretch you beyond recognition. You may look in the mirror one day and say “I am not the same person I used to be!” Life has rearranged you, changed you and obliterated what you thought you knew, “for certain”!
A life-size handful of “troubles” may find you on your journey. God doesn’t stop it. It breaks you, decimates you, overwhelms you, crushes you. Your faith in God is not safe. He loves you and walks you through the difficulties of life, but he doesn’t eliminate them nor excuse you from them.
In many ways, He is not safe!
Being a Christ-follower does not exempt us from life’s hardest moments. In fact, Jesus warned us in John 16:33 …
These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
He doesn’t just warn us of trouble, but tribulation!! Trouble seems fleeting, tribulation is a much more drawn-out process. I think of the concept of “travailing in childbirth” … it lasts a while! Longer than we’d like. It’s hard, seems unending, takes every bit of strength and brings you to the end of yourself! He’s instructing us … life is NO cake walk!
But Jesus says, even though, “You can have peace!”
He is our peace! He is with us. Walks us through: our tour guide! Promises us the hope of His triumph over the world! He’s walked this way before and understands far better than us!
I have to say, if in my darkest moments, God’s peace had not accompanied me, I would not be standing! It is an inexplicable peace that makes no sense by worldly measures or terms! It didn’t even make sense to me, while I was going through it: at my core, deep down, I experienced peace in the worst moments! It is a spiritual, “holy hush” happening. It is God with you! It is beyond anything this world can offer or that I could muster up from my depths! Nope! I was a puddle of flesh in every sense, yet my heart and mind felt peace.
I can’t fully explain it, but it is true, God was with me and His presence brought peace!
If I believe anything about the God of the Bible, I believe God has the power to stop any trial, trouble or tribulation that tries to enter my life. I do believe He can! He would be a totally “safe” God, if He did! But, even this verse in John tells us, He doesn’t stop those things. We will experience them!!
They are not predictable and can crash in on us at any moment … that does not give us a safe feeling!
But, God is GOOD, in that, HE is with us!
THE Creator of the universe does not leave us alone in this travailing world. That is a goodness man cannot give or take away! It is a supernatural holy presence giving you sustaining power and peace!
We have to trudge our way through this unsafe world,
we’ve been warned!
God has not exempt us from it, but His GOODNESS is with us!
“He’s the King I tell you!”,
Feel free to share with a friend(s).
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