Thursday, January 5, 2012

Safety




In light of my (Jeff's) recent resolution, here is one of my mental works in progress...

I am occassionally asked if my current life circumstances are less safe now than they where before. I could give the simple answer "yes, they are less safe", but it isn't that simple. I could also give the seemingly spiritual answer and say... "The safest place in the world is in the center of God's will". In addition to not being able to find that verse in the Bible, it has not been my experience nor was it Jesus' experience either (the center of God's will took him to his public execution). I think that part of my difficulty in answering this question, lies in my definition of, and in my pre-occupation with, safety.

Jesus didn't share this preoccupation of mine and his definition of safety was different than mine. He said "Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell." Mt.10:28 NLT. Apparently God's safety conerns are different than mine...spiritual safety is more important than physical safety. Also, Jesus had a different priority ranking of safety than mine..."For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame." Heb. 12:2 NIV. Apparently the promise of future joy out-ranked current safety.

My thinking could be wrong at this point in my life, but this is how I would summarize my thoughts: God is the ultimate source of my safety, but my physical safety is not his ultimate concern. I would do well to determine and pursue what ultimately concerns God, even at the risk of personal safety. You know what? I am kind of OK with that...at least personally, but I begin to squirm when God and I begin to talk about how this applies to my family. I am glad that God didn't squirm when he chose to not make the physical safety of his only son his ultimate concern. I have space to grow here. I am glad that God is patient with me.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."
-Jim Elliot