Now there’s a strong and beautiful word…”safe.” Parents receive their son or daughter back home after military duty…alive and well…safe! Our spouse is involved in a car accident…we are frantic until we hear the one word of them we most desperately long to hear…”Safe!” The big city police officer returns home to his family after his shift…safe. We wish to be safe. We want our loved ones kept safe. The problem is there are so many dangers. There is danger from without and within. Tragically, there are times when places and people which were supposed to be safe actually were not. Our homes are supposed to be safe places for children. But our record as a nation on domestic violence and abuse of all kinds tells a different and a bitter story. Churches are supposed to be safe, but even there people are often victimized. Our life…our entire frame of reference is drastically altered when we experience danger, harm, and betrayal in places and from people we thought were safe.
We sing about being “safe in the arms of Jesus.” And that’s a beautiful hymn! But what’s our definition of “safe?” Is this after all a shallow promise, offering much but delivering precious little? Jesus invites all to come to Him and find rest? Does He mean it? In a world like ours? What is He actually promising? Was Stephen “safe in the arms of Jesus” when he was being stoned to death (Acts 7)? Was James “safe” in some real way at the time he was beheaded (Acts 12)? Is it possible for Christians to be safe on any level here in the real world, where their beloved can hurt them or simply desert them? Can we be safe here where we still struggle with sin daily? Is safety possible when there are so many unanswered questions…so many unrelieved burdens…so many discrepancies…so much injustice? Is the idea of “safe” really a self-deception?
There are those who tell us, in the name of religion, that faith is the key to “success” in the here and now as well as in the there and then…that if we look at things properly, with the right attitude, that anything we can think is possible for us to accomplish…that if we are not happy, healthy and wealthy, we are guilty of lack of faith.
So…what do you think about “safe?” Are you safe? Why? How? Encourage us with your insights from God’s Book? Please check in and comment if you can find the time.