Read His Words Before Ours!
I’m a huge C.S. Lewis fan. When I was in college I read the “Screwtape Letters” for the first time and hung on every word. During a questioning season, I poured over “Mere Christianity”. Like most of us, though, my first introduction to Lewis’ writing was in childhood, when he swept me away through the back of a wardrobe, past a glowing, snow-covered lamp post, into Narnia.
One of Lewis’s quotes from “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” that has always stuck with me is, “If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than me or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” asked Lucy.
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver. “Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
In Lewis’s writings, Aslan represents Jesus, so why wouldn’t he be safe?
Isn’t Jesus safe?
In short, no, He isn’t. But He’s BETTER!
Oddly, when I think of safety, I see bars on windows or strong barricades. If I were hiding from danger, that’s the sort of place I would seek out.
No one gets in, no one has to go out, zero risk!
But that sounds a lot like a prison, doesn’t it? Thankfully Jesus has called us to live out from behind bars. We dwell in the beautiful, intoxicating, completely UNSAFE world.
Should we be afraid? Of course not! Deuteronomy 31:6 is just one of 365 verses in the Bible that declares, “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you.”
In his book, “Radical” (Highly Recommend!), David Platt says, “Radical Obedience to Christ is not easy—It’s not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And He is more than enough for us.”
As Mommy of three small children, the idea of living in a world of trouble where God doesn’t guarantee our safety is something I struggle with.
Doesn’t He want THEM to be safe?
I can’t go around taking crazy risks, I have tiny people to protect!
We can’t give too much money away, we want our kids to be well provided for!
Perhaps more honestly, I don’t want to do things that aren’t safe.
I don’t want to give things up that make me comfortable.
I don’t want to go to sketchy places and share Jesus with sketchy people and give up my time and do things that are scary….and potentially quite unsafe.
Frankly, I want to eat chocolate, watch some Netflix, and go to bed at a reasonable hour. But time and again, I know Jesus is calling me to more. As He calls each of us.
I recently watched an amazing documentary called, “The Drop Box”. It tells the story of South Korean pastor, Lee Jong-rak, who created a “drop box” for unwanted babies in his home. Lee offers a place for babies to be dropped off and he, with his wife and a few volunteers, raise many of them. Many of these unwanted babies have severe health problems or special needs. I’m crying just thinking about him, not because his actions are so beautiful, but because the grit of his situation, his breathtaking love, and faithful obedience point to a life of surrender to Jesus. What Lee Jong-rak does is dangerous, it’s costly, it’s difficult, uncomfortable, and will likely lead to his own death. It is not safe, but it is good.
The crazy thing is, the more I follow closely to Jesus, the more He actually changes my heart. The more I trust Him, the more my “wants” become different. I actually would rather share my story, than choose not to proclaim Him. Taking a load of food to downtown places and passing it out to bearded, unwashed men in hopes of sharing Jesus is something I willingly choose because of what Jesus has done in me. When we love Jesus, we don’t have to worry about all the “What If’s” and “Unsafety’s” that He will lead us to doing, we can simply choose to trust and know that we are never alone.
No, God didn’t promise safety, but He did promise to never forsake or abandon us.
I’ll take the promise of security over temporary safety any day.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!