Day 6 or Lent, Psalm 12:
What speaks of safety or security to you? I love the feeling of arriving to our front door after a long trip. Home is a safe place– inciting a warm and secure feeling.
My kids have loved their special blankets or stuffed animals that gave them an obvious secure feeling. With a thumb in the mouth and a blanket in the other hand, they are doing pretty good.
I also have a secure feeling when our family, friends or college students are hanging around our kitchen talking and laughing. I feel safe with these people. I can cook, do the dishes and listen, while they can sit at the eat-up bar and visit. Our counter here has entertained people from all over the world, has heard all sorts of conversations and advice, and has served all types of food.
One of my favorite safe spots is located in my bedroom. In the corner by a window is my comfy chair clothed in maroon/Aggie fabric. In this spot, I talk with my kids or with my husband. I have had confidential conversations with college women as we discuss life, and future. Here also, I often meet with God. I would rather have this chair recovered than get a new one altogether. This chair is full of so many stories, prayers, tears and conversations.
We long for safety
We all want safety. We would do many things, even some extreme things, for the safety of our family, homes or country. My kids, when they were little, would run to my side of the bed to feel safe during a storm. It is apart of being human–wanting a safe place. God knows this:
“Now I will arise,” says the Lord; “I will set him (the needy) in the safety for which he longs.” The words of the Lord are pure; as silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times. You, O Lord will keep them (the afflicted); you will preserve him from this generation forever. Psalm 12: 5-7
We long for it and God says He provides safety.
Thief of safety
What robs you of your safety? Have you ever had your home robbed? For me, after my home and car were broken into several times, I felt a little unsafe and scared. Every noise and creak was accentuated. I wondered if I would ever feel totally comfortable and safe again. One of my most prevalent thieves, though, of my safety, is anxiety. It plots to daily undermine my security. It can weigh me down with indecision and uncertainty. There have been times in my life that anxiety and compulsive thinking kept me worried, fearful and up at night. Anxiety robs me of the safety that God gives. There is alot that can be said about this intruder, but I just want to make a few observations.
- tries to have control over our schedule and produce an allusive form of security. It gives us no room to budge or have flexibility.
- keeps us trapped in our feelings– keeping us indecisive, preventing us from taking risks, or stepping out in faith. We fear being uncomfortable.
- looks like indifference and being “laid” back. We deal with the unknown by acting like we don’t care.
- recounts the “what if’s” over and over in our minds and also reminds others of these possibilities.
- on the most basic level, steals our joy and security.
I have asked myself, “Do I really want out of this anxiety? Would I really like freedom from this?” It feels safer to worry, and obsess over unknown possibilities, and decisions. I am at least doing something. It feels better to stay put and not take steps of faith. This is what is known and safe. When I am truly willing and have honestly laid this before God– asking Him to see me though it, I begin to see growth. It hasn’t been easy. It starts with the truth about God– trusting in Him and His provision of true safety. It leads to confession of this ongoing thief. It has involved choosing to walk by faith and not in my feelings. It has meant taking some risks and being vulnerable. It leads to a new place of freedom.
God is a safe place. He is the safest place there is. He calls us to abide in Him– to make our home in Him. He is to be our place of rest and safety in the midst of a chaotic world of intruders. Take time to ask yourself honestly: Where am I finding my safety and security? Being in the safest place is true freedom.
God is safe. He is safety. To remember that gives me peace.