A friend of mine told me about a pastor who, when talking about the Great Commission, said something along the lines of “God never said he would provide us with safety…”
I’ve heard it over and over again that He is the prince of peace, the lifter of my head, our hiding place, but I proceeded to wrestle with the statement regardless… [excuse me if I ramble, it’s just my train of thought]
I think the statement itself is tricky because it can go two ways depending on how you define or which perspective you take on the word “safety.” You can see safety from our point of view where it can be loosely defined as our security and comfort. But the hitch here, I believe, is that our longing, our idea of what keeps us safe is different from that of God’s. Humans naturally seek normalcy, pleasure and security, all of which we pursue in a million different things.
On the other side you can see safety from the perspective of God, who happens to be screaming at us that we are always safe, always secure in His arms no matter what the circumstance.
With that being said, I feel like God implores us and calls us to break free of the mundane and take chances, take leaps of faith because even when we miss the mark (which happens damn often), we fall into the arms of grace over and over again.
And I feel like God does push us, throw things at us, stretch us to get us to that point where we can finally say that “all our fountains are in Him.”
I think it’s just one of those things where we don’t realize that He was our safety all along, until the very end. Hindsight screams out God’s faithfulness!
Now, going back to the question of “does God never guarantee us safety?”
I’ll say no, God doesn’t guarantee us safety because He doesn’t need to. He is our safety whether we realize it or not. He keeps us and sustains us, relentlessly and even violently at times. Even when we feel unsafe in our own terms, He is always there in every season, in every circumstance. To say otherwise is to take out of God’s character.
David writes in Psalm 4 that his heart is filled with peace and safety, simply when God shines His face. To David, this brings him greater joy than when the harvest is plentiful, or even when every circumstance “feels right.” The truth is that our definition of what makes us safe will never actually bring us safety. Hope put in anything other than the faithfulness of God will always let us down.
What do you prize the most? value the most?
How do you react when you’re stripped of these things?
What really brings you joy?
“I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”