I’ve been a housewife and stay-at-home mom for over twenty years now. And in filling this role, I’ve spent a lot of time, well, at home. Through the years, one of my favorite splurges has been to take an afternoon nap. Before I would take a nap, I would shut the garage door and lock all the doors. I would check to make sure that the windows were shut and the children were playing peacefully. As I would go off to sleep, I would rest securely knowing that my children were safe inside our home. We were all “snug as a bug in a rug.”
Safely is something that we all crave. In fact, it drives us. We get into our cars, and if the doors don’t lock automatically, we lock them. We password protect our phones so that no one can access our personal information. When we are alone at night in a dark parking lot, we stay alert and aware of our surroundings.
We take active steps to protect our physical safety, but we also take steps to protect our souls. When we are at work, we don’t share our new ideas because we don’t want someone to shoot them down. When we are talking to our neighbors, we don’t share our faith because we are scared of being rejected. When our teenagers or adult children make poor choices, we don’t correct them because we are afraid of the argument that will follow. When someone hurts our feelings, we suck it up and we don’t say anything so that we can “keep the peace.”
Our souls crave safely. We want to feel secure, protected, and walled-in by walls that keep bad things out. Bad things like confrontation, rejection, pain, correction, and strained relationships. We want to maintain the status quo, keep our peace, and not rock the boat.
Craving safely means that we will never take risks. We won’t speak up. We won’t take a leap of faith. We won’t listen to God’s voice and do that crazy thing He is telling us to do.
But all through scripture, we see God ask safety-craving humans to take great risks for Him.
To Abram, God said to leave his family and his country to go to a new land. The safe thing to do would have been to stay where he knew he was loved, where he knew the lay of the land, and where he knew how to provide for himself. But Abram chose to obey God and to take a risk by trusting in God’s leadership. Abram set out for the Promised Land.
Later in the Old Testament, we see Joshua finally arrive in that Promised Land. But there are enemies living there and Joshua must fight many battles in order to possess the land. We see Joshua courageously lead Israel’s armies to take the land.
Around 1000 BC, King David ruled and reigned over that Promised Land. He faced betrayal and insurrection by family members as well as the consequences of His own sin. But even in the midst of his emotional distress, King David vulnerably bared his soul to God.
When God calls us to leave what is most comfortable, will we go?
When God call us to go forward and fight, will we fight?
Will we leave behind safety and take a risk?
Right now, what is God calling you to do? Where in your life is God asking you to forsake safely and to courageously take a risk?
Will you do it? Will you follow in the steps of obedience of Abram, Joshua, and King David or will you just stay in your fishbowl of safety?
Will you start that new ministry?
Will you lovingly confront that rebellious teen?
Will you share your new idea at work?
Will you tell your neighbor of God’s love?
Will you speak up when your family member hurts you?
Will you move to a new city when God calls?
Will you sell all that you have and become a missionary?
Will you go back to school as an older adult?
Will you apply for that new job?
That still small voice – Holy Spirit – is speaking to us now, calling us out of a safe place and into a land of risk and trust. Will we listen? If God could change the course of history through men of old, He can shape the future of our planet through us. If we will only forsake safely, trust Him, and take risks.