Read His Words Before Ours!
I’ve walked a lot of “close calls” as a mom of 8, and I’ve pleaded for safety in each of them.
A screwdriver to my son’s eye.
A knife blade to the same son’s knee. (boys…what can I say?!)
Toilet seat slammed on special parts with lots of blood. (uhh, boys…)
Choking on pizza rolls.
Waking up to my daughter’s throat and neck the size of a cantaloupe.
A fall that nearly broke a rib and caused strained breathing in a toddler.
In each instance, I prayed desperately for safe healing, and the Father was gracious, they all recovered.
In this theme of Safe, we have focused intently on how God hasn’t promised us safety or even called us to it. Rather, He wants our eyes to look with faith on the unseen, the eternal safety of our souls and the perseverant, faithful love of a God who will never let go. This emphasis can make us wonder, should I even ask for earthly safety? Does God even care about my physical safety and the ones I loved?
Let’s ask Jesus by peering into His earthly life…..
“Rise and walk!” – Jesus speaking to a lame man, after the persistent faith and love delivered the man directly in front of Jesus, lowered through a rooftop by his friends. (Luke 5:17-26)
“Child, arise!” – Jesus speaking to a dead girl, after the girls’ father pleaded for her healing. (Luke 8:49-56)
“I am willing. Be clean!” – Jesus speaking to a leper, after the man fell on his knees before Christ for healing. (Luke 5:12-16)
“Peace! Be Still!” – Jesus speaking to the wind and waves after His disciples begged for their lives (mark 4:35-41)
“Get up. Take your mat, and walk!” – Jesus speaking to the lame man, after he had acknowledged his wanting to be healed. (John 5:6-8)
Christ himself instructs us in the Lord’s Prayer to ask Him to “…give us this day, our daily bread.” He longs for us to ask. Notice that in every above scenario, Jesus generously gives after He was asked.
Does God care about our earthly safety? YES!
Should we ask for healing and safety? YES!
But in the same breath, ask for the strength to walk through loss.
Walk with me for a moment in a long-ago garden, late at night, when life and death for all humanity hung in the balance. The fullness of God wrapped in very human flesh, begged and pleaded for His safety. In gut-wrenching agony that we will never be able to fully comprehend, Jesus Christ begged the Father, “Please, let this cup pass from me.” The “cup”, of course, referring the full wrath of God poured out on Christ for the redemption of mankind. Extreme physical suffering and humiliation would pale in comparison to estrangement from perfect oneness with His Father, as He would bear our sins on the cross.
Jesus knew the price, He knew the pain, and He beseeched God for safety.
And yet….. as the plea left his lips and bloody sweat dripped off his furrowed brow, Jesus submitted to the unfathomable “un-safety”, “Yet, not my will, but Yours be done.”
Christ submitted to the will of the Father because He trusted that God’s plan was better than His own fleshly desires.
Beautifully, an angel appeared and strengthened Him.
In Christian circles, easily misunderstood phrases like “rejoice always” can lead us to think that God is up there cheering for our trials and expecting us to do the same. As a result, we end up with a twisted, sadistic view of God.
Cancer? Yay! Death? Oh be glad! Abuse? Rejoice!
None of these reflect God’s good heart!
Like the picture of Christ in Gethsemane, God didn’t jump for joy at Christ’s suffering, gleefully rejoicing over our Savior’s agony. Rather, the love of the Father supplied Jesus with everything He would need to drink the cup before Him.
That is God’s goodness!!
Next time you find yourself praying for safety and protection, remember that God is gracious and good, longing to hear you and waiting for you to ask Him! But just as fervently, ask the Father for His powerful strength to work in you as you choose faith over fear.
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!