Where Safety Lies
A week ago, as I studied Proverbs chapter 3 for my Quiet time, God seemed to bop me over the heart with verses 5 and 6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” A few hours later I came across the verse a second time. That night as I read in bed, I glanced idly at my bookmark. Can you guess what it said? Yes, believe it or not, it was the same verse. “Trust in the Lord … “
I pricked up my heart’s ears. What was God asking me to trust Him about? Five days later I went off for our church ladies camp and what a fabulous time it was. The weather was sparkling, the fellowship blessed. Best of all, my fibro symptoms kept away. Hooray! It was a beautiful experience - filled with fellowship, learning, God moments, worship, relaxing, good food, sunshine, laughter and love.
During the camp, I carried my Bible, notebook and pen in a zipped-up plastic folder. To ensure my pen wouldn’t fall out; I kept it on the left side of the Bible with the zipper on the right. One day I found my pen was dangling through a tiny gap in the folder. It had almost dropped out. Oh! The safe side wasn’t so safe after all. I moved it at once to the unsafe side.
And there it stayed without a-wandering. The section I’d dubbed unsafe was the secure side. That episode with my pen reminded me that I often choose commodities which I think will keep me safe but I am wrong. People, places, possessions, achievements, work, riches, good health, a good reputation are some of them. But you know what? All of that can be taken away in an instant.
And so perhaps I could draw a few parallels.
The unsafe place = The world's securities
The safest place = God's will
When I returned home after the camp, I discovered to my distress that my website had been suspended due to it having abusive content. What? What was going on? I stared dazedly at the screen. My thoughts jumped to the previous week when a new aquaintance had sent me several nasty messages. Was it her? She'd sounded angry enough to hurt me. Then I remembered God’s assurance given a week before. “Trust in the Lord…”. “Yes Lord,” I whispered. I will trust you.”
I was overwhelmed by the love of family and friends who rallied around me. I was carried on the wings of prayer all day Monday – my blogging day. A special thank you to everyone who prayed for me and supported me! It's true that we should never make people our security blankets. But God does provide their love as a beautiful part of how He cares for us. I’ve experienced that many times in my darkest hours. Praise God for those who have reached out in love. And THANK YOU SO MUCH to all who have blessed me.
I often don't do well when tough times strike. I habitually go into meltdown mode. Not this time. Three precious blessings carried me. God’s three-fold promise to me that I could trust Him, the loving support of others, and the prayers of many wonderful people. I was filled with joy all day and it was so easy to trust Him. So easy to rejoice. Thirty hours after I’d discovered my huge loss – God restored my website to me. The host provider attended to it and had it working again. And it turned out it was not due to abusive content as they'd indicated but simply a technical error. What a relief and joy. I am filled with gratitude.
Life sometimes treats one as a punching bag. It's easy to feel insecure. The truth is that being safe has nothing to do with the absence of storms. Hurricanes will rage. Bad things will happen. People will let us down. Life's alarm bells will ring. But don’t forget - the shadow of the Almighty is the perfect place to rest in. And as you run to Him, He will cover you with His feathers. He assures you He will work things out for your good because you love Him. And you can count on it - God's promises never fail.
The safest place to be? The shelter of God's wings.
“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour Him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:15, 16