IS GOD SAFE?
“Is – is he a man?” asked Lucy.
“Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion – the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he – quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
“That you will dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
“Then he isn’t safe?” said 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.”
I was in high school when I first read this disconcerting description of the God I had recently committed my life to. Rich in vivid imagery and richer still with sound theology, the stories in the Chronicles of Narnia captured my whole heart.
But an unsafe God?
I wanted a god who would offer guarantees of a good life, a protected future. And so for the next many years I set about constructing a personal theology that safed God up a bit.
I memorized all the “promises” for protection, camping out on what sounded to me like iron clad can’t-get-out-of-it contractual agreements.
I collected quotes like this one: “There’s no place safer than right in the center of God’s will.” Ooh yeah, that sounds right to me.
But is God safe? Are we, as His followers, promised a safe life?
Ask Peter, or James, or John. Hounded by religious lawmen, they lost everything. Peter and James died violent, decidedly unsafe deaths. John was dipped into a cauldron of hot oil, then banished to an island all-alone.
No, God is not safe.
But He is good.
And so 20 women embark today on a journey into a world that is not safe.
Following in the footsteps of hundreds of others from our church, and tens of thousands of Jesus followers around the world, we chose to leave our safe, insurance protected homes to travel half a world away to bring the love of Christ to a people who need Him desperately.
A people whose world is anything but safe.
Why do we go? Because God is good.
And though every woman amongst this team living in safe suburbia is sure to lock their doors at night… and we wouldn’t think of not wearing seatbelts… and we disinfect our hands and cutting boards and doorknobs… and warn our kids against all sorts of random accidental possibilities…
We all know that it is this decidedly unsafe God who is leading us to Haiti.
The sense of His presence is palatable. Not in a packaged, marketable sense of nothing-bad-can-possibly-come-to-you kind of way. We just know that He’s leading and we’re following and He’s going to do something amazing in us and through us and with us in unsafe Haiti.
And we’re almost giddy with anticipation.
I wonder if the real danger for most of us Jesus followers has nothing to do with disease and disaster.
Maybe the real danger has more to do with our refusal to risk. To do what isn’t safe. To dare.
And I’m not just wondering about malaria carrying mosquitoes and crazed kidnappers…
Dare we risk relationships by telling the truth?
Dare we risk our financial security by giving scandalously?
Dare I risk my reputation by listening to that Voice which promises to whisper directions in my ear?
Dare I risk my comfortable Sunday routine by signing up to take care of kids? Is a harried mother who needs to hear the Gospel again, and again, and again worth it?
I don’t know what kind of daring adventure you’re contemplating right now. But I’ll bet there is some challenge lurking somewhere deep down where nobody knows.
Let me pass on the words our unsafe-but-relentlessly-good God has spoken to my scaredy-cat heart:
“I command you— be strong and courageous!
Do not be afraid
For the LORD your God is with you
wherever you go.”
In other words…
Just do it!
From all our hearts,
Jodi Hughes, Kathleen Joffer, Zebby Wheelock, Caryn Ogle, Jenna Silva, Allison Rice, Ann Menke, Melanie Dobson, Liz Eischen, Julie Kohl, Jodi Stilp, Orlena Ballard, Whitney Baucom, Beth Viducich, Amanda Jones, Vickie Marshman, Mary Kay Taylor, Penny Stady, and Kay Moore
Scott Campbell, Alex Salzwedel, Tim Durkee, and Mike Varadi
(our big, brave, we’ll-do-everything-to-keep-you-safe guards!)
Watch and wait and pray for us! We’ll be posting every day this week from Haiti if the electricity and Internet hold up…