Monday, January 4, 2016

Is God Safe?

Dan asked me recently if there is anything more secure than God.

It didn't sit well with me because my immediately, albeit internal reaction, was that there is nothing secure about God!  God is good and God is holy but he is also dangerous, wild, risky and prone to commanding his followers to do a wide range of risk inducing scenarios.  You don't get credit for being a safe and secure Being if it is in your practice to knock up teenage girls in a culture that regularly stones women for adultery in order to get your son to the planet.  It certainly wasn't the safest thing he could have done for Mary.

This of course doesn't negate God's inherent goodness nor does it mean that we should spend any less time fully devoted to the path he is guiding us toward.  It just means that path in no way guarantees our safety or security.

I think that's one of the reasons that every time God prompts me to do something I get a little skittish.  I know what following God has cost me thus far and that column stacks pretty high.  I further know that following him won't be the path to financial security, it won't necessarily have anything to do with my desire for world travel.  It won't even be necessarily the "best thing" for my children.  The life I could create on this planet by my own hand would have a lot more secure elements to it than the one he has for me.  Basically as I see it following him means completely being uninterested in what I want out of this life and I'm selfish so I'm not sure that's the best idea for me.

I can think of a lot of things that "feel" more secure than God.  I can think of a lot of things that sound less risky than doing the will of my always mysterious, sometimes dangerous Father.  I just have no desire to make a life of my own creation.  It appeals to me not at all.  If I'm not in the middle of where I feel God has called me to be than I want to be fighting my way back to that center.  Ludicrous, given the costs I have paid to be there, staggering financial debt, the scorn of many of my former friends and some family members, being mocked by those who supposedly love me and overall the complete abandonment of a "safe little life."

My life with God doesn't feel safe.  He makes those security alarm bells within me go off like fire alarms at times, times like right freaking now!  No, my God is not safe or secure.  What he calls me to doesn't feel like the best thing for me.  My family and those who care for me would love for me to just get a freaking plan already.  But this life I have chosen to have with him is not one of my own making and there is no charted course that I can see.  It is one of trust, it requires obeying, it looks unconventional, but the rewards?  They are far beyond any cost I have paid.

I might grow old and not have seen Italy.  I might never live at the beach.  I might never have more than enough to barely pay my bills each month.  But this life with God means that I will not live a quietly desperate life and die with my song still in me.  Because the song that God has placed within my heart is required for each moment of monumentous faith where I step outside the plan I would have made for me and into the one he has for me.  God did not feel safe to Abraham as he was guiding Isaac to what he believed would be his death.  God did not feel safe to Mary when she had to tell Joseph she was pregnant.  God didn't feel safe to David before Goliath.  And God did not feel safe to Jesus in Gethsemane.

God is not here in our lives to coddle our egos and only put us in positions where we can accomplish things by our own power.  When we are quivering and afraid yet still speaking his truth, when he must show up or we will fail, when everything in us wants to run the other way because we know we can't do this thing he is asking of us, then he has a chance to show us just how faithful he is.  He gets to show up for us.  He gets to remind us that we don't place our faith in him for nothing.  No one loves like this God I serve.  No one enjoys showing up for his children more than he does.  No one loves creating masterpieces out of would be disaster more than him.  And no one is better at that than he is.

I am quivering.

I am afraid.

I am inadequate.

I am walking toward him anyway.

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