Originally published Monday, 10 August 2015.
It's the thing we are on a constant pursuit of - but can never quite grab.
The thing that promises peace, yet looks miles away.
The carrot we run after but can't seem to touch.
We dream of being armored up, impenetrable, uncompromised,
so we save up our bank account money,
we get alarms to keep bad people out,
we put up internal walls to keep other bad people out,
we run from love,
we hide from ourself,
we pick up vices,
we seek a way out...
..all to feel safe.
I know that I have done many of these things.
Finding safety in a man.
Somehow I thought if I could only help God out just a little, maybe he would do the same for me, maybe I could make all things right and maybe I could avoid all the crud that constantly comes after me.
But, my best attempts always prove out my biggest flaw (I hate that): I simply have no control. Like a drug addict, I take another hit - seeking more control to fill the empty hole that shows I have no control.
It's like I know the truth, but as one chasing the wrong hope, I move from pain to pain.
It seems, the more I seek to play the hand of God,
the more I play into the hand of the devil
(he wrote the book on control-seeking after all).
He has a field day with hearts in right field, the ones looking all around, rather than looking up to see the ball God launched to save the day, to make us cheer and to help us win.
When we aren't looking, sometimes God lets us get hit by the ball to learn who really had the ball all along.
I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Ps. 16:8
You see, without God, we will likely be shaken. We will likely feel lost. We will feel like the inside of us is rocking and we have no control over it.
David knew this.
He seemed to know the more he pushed out his shaky feelings to his steady God,
the more his shaky feelings would be unshaken.
David had every reason to feel unsafe, but he leaned on all the reasons God would make him safe.
He spoke it to himself like a man trying to pound belief into himself. And, it worked.
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety. Ps. 4:8
He also knew this verse to be true: My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. Ps. 121:1
Perhaps this is why God had declared him: '...a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.' Acts 13:22
How did he do it?
He believed in unstoppable power of God's lightning ability to save -
and acted accordingly.
Like David, how often do we face the dire with God's fire?
Words of fire that says:
“My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:7–8).
Safety is never a feeling.
Safety is never a circumstance.
A change of heart in another.
A structure that protects you.
A gift in life that makes it all ok.
A physical condition.
All of that can go in a blink of an eye.
It is simply knowing that God is the only structure that will one day bring complete eternal safety - and, until then, he is the only house that keeps guard over your inner shell protecting it from the pain of the outer world.
He can always keep your heart safe. Surely, sometimes he changes circumstances, but, what he always does protect is your heart - if you just let him.
And isn't that really what we are after - at the core?
Hearts that feel ok?
That know they have the ultimate way?
That can be at rest.
God has you. You are safe in him. He will lead you on the way you should go. He is for you, with you and in you. Be encouraged - you are armored up in his protection, his love and his grace.
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