I saw the question the other day, Is God safe? And it’s really got me thinking. Probably because the word “safe” had already been on my mind. The google dictionary defines safe as:
Safe: adjective; protected from or not exposed to danger or risk; not likely to be harmed or lost.
If this is the definition we are using, then I would say emphatically that God is NOT safe. No, I don’t think he will harm me or lose me, but danger and risk seem to be a big part of following God.
Think of the phrase Safety Zone and you see what I mean. My experience in following God is continually being forced out of my safety zone. Pushed into new relationships, new situations, new ways of doing life. And my life is richer, fuller, more exciting, more fulfilling, healthier. But not safer.
A bible verse has been running through my head this week.
The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. Proverbs 18:10
When I think about this verse I think about medieval peasants running to their overlord’s fortress because their village is under attack. The fortress is safety. The overlord offers safety, but in a fierce Warrior kind of way. The “I will ride out and defeat our enemies” kind of way. The overlord is dangerous, strong, to be respected and obeyed. He offers safety. But I wouldn’t describe him as “safe”.
C.S. Lewis wrote a children’s series called Narnia. In the series Jesus is allegorically portrayed as a Lion named Aslan. In the book “The Horse and His Boy” one of the characters (a talking horse) sees Aslan for the first time.
“Then Hwin, though shaking all over, gave a strange little neigh and trotted across to the Lion. “Please,” she said, “you‘re so beautiful. You may eat me if you like. I’d sooner be eaten by you than fed by anyone else.”
I feel like this quote really sums up the question, Is God safe? God is Creator. Almighty, Powerful. He is Good. He is King. He is Sovereign. He is Fierce and Strong. But he’s also Gentle and Meek. Kind. Compassionate. Slow to Anger. Abounding in Love. Merciful.
In the end my posture is “God, you are good. You are beautiful. I worship you. I trust you with my life. But I also give up all rights to self-governance. I’m not in control anymore. You are. And I have no guarantees that you will make things turn out the way I want them. But I would rather die a martyr serving you than sit safe in my home without you.”
God is not safe. But he is good. And he offers us the life that we were created to live.