It had been a beautiful outdoor wedding.
A celebration we had all anticipated for literally years. My husband’s brother and his wife had finally tied the knot and we couldn’t have been happier for them. We watched through teary eyes as they promised forever to each other, I choked on joy-filled tears as I embraced my new, long-awaited sister, we rode in the limo, laughing as we stopped traffic. I cried again as my husband gave a beautiful toast to the new couple, and my man and I savored watching their sweet love as we reflected on our own. We danced with our kids and took one long slow dance, just me and my champion, savoring the nearness of each other.
I left early to take our little treasures, including our 4 week old daughter, to his parents house to spend the night. It was just past midnight when Chris’ dad woke me with a calm, but urgent voice, “There’s been an accident, Chris was taken to the hospital.”
My heart dropped and my world stopped. My ears rang with the unthinkable as I imagined the very worst. I fitted my newborn into her car seat with shaking hands and followed Dad to his waiting truck in stunned silence. “Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus,” was all I could pray, until one thought of thankfulness surrounded me in a moment of unknowable peace and stillness, “Thank you, God, for one last slow dance with my husband.”
Fear had flooded me, but peace overtook me. Not because I knew my husband would be alive and well, but because I knew my God was good.
Safety is something we often pray for, beg for, even demand and bargain for when we are desperate,
but Jesus sees safety differently than we do.
The good Father takes every opportunity, good or bad, to draw us intentionally closer to His heart. He longs for us to find total fulfillment in Him regardless of circumstances.
Tears, fear, and uncontrollable trembling battled inside me as I reached for my husband’s hand on the stretcher, his bloody face held tightly in a stabilizer. The shock oh so slowly leaving my body as I breathed in the truth that he would be okay. Later, only a faint scar above his eye would remain, always reminding me of the preciousness of my husband’s life.
The more I reflect on being safe, my longing for it, and the glaring reality that it doesn’t always happen, reminds me of a trio of young men. Men who had a lot to lose when it came to safety, their very lives in fact.
They could renounce their faith and live
or hold unswervingly to the unseen God and die a horrible death.
They chose faith.
And in their final moments before certain death, they boldly proclaimed words that sink deep into my heart when I pray for safety. Read it slowly, drink in their courage, see the faith in their eyes.
“Our God, whom we serve, is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from it.
But if not,
be it known to you, O King, that we will not serve your gods or worship your golden image.”
Their confidence in a saving God was unswerving, unquestioning, and steadfast.
God would save them.
But they also allowed for God’s sovereignty to call the shots…..and they were okay with that.
“But if not….” God was still faithful. Their confidence in God went beyond the physical to the spiritual. They were safe….no matter what. If God didn’t save them from the fire, He would save them through it on the other side and welcome them into eternity with Him.
Those moments in life that have been ear-marked by fear and great unknown, have also been branded by Jesus calling me into more. When I feared that Chris was dying from the car accident, I knew God’s goodness more intimately than I had just a few hours earlier as I had danced carefree at the wedding.
As much as we wish God promised us safety, He simply doesn’t. But what He does give us is worth far more than physical, temporary security. It’s worth enough that choosing worry over trusting His goodness simply doesn’t make sense.
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!