Thursday, February 9

Excite the Danger

What is "safe"? I hear things like, "Dear Lord please keep ________ safe while doing _________". Are we talking safe from harm? Safe from Death? Safe from... a bad sandwich? I've been struck recently by the question of what exactly are we asking for when we ask God for safety.

I don't know that I have ever seen anything in the bible where serving God would amount to anything I would consider "safe". The hero's of the faith that we read about and admire weren't safe in the least bit. Go ahead, flip open a bible to anywhere and if it involves a person or people group they most definitely aren't safe.

But isn't that what we love about those stories as well? God brings them through the dangers to deliver them. David, Paul, Isaiah, Daniel, Job, Peter, Jonah, etc etc etc. Yes, at some point they ended up dead, sometimes it's recorded, sometimes it not. Sometime's it is quietly in bed, but for most of them it wasn't.

When we set out to serve God it's not going to be safe. God will help us through tough times, but ultimately the goal is to give HIM glory, and to grow us in faith. There's no way that being safe is going to fulfill that. Tell me, would you rather hear about some harrowing thing that happened to some missionary in Africa (nod to Steve Allen), or see vacation pictures from someone's cruise? I mean honestly, which one inspires you more? The danger or the lounging by the pool?*

It's the stories of God's rescuing us that creates a story of redemption that excites us, not a perfectly safe trip there and back. And it's not even for other people. Take me for example, this cancer (dangerous) has had a million times more effect on me than all the vacations and perfectly safe trips I have ever taken in my life. I'll always remember this, will I be able to recall the safe trip I had from Seattle to Houston this past month? No, of course not.

God knows this and God uses it. He knows what will bring us and others closer to Him. The downside? It's dangerous. The next time you are faced with praying for someone who is about to head out on a mission trip, or the mission field, or... whatever, and you think about shooting off the old "Keep so and so safe..." line, give it a second and pray something a touch more meaningful, excite the danger in serving God and hope that it'll be a memorable trip where God is glorified, no matter how unsafe it is.

*I am not saying that God can't use a vacation, or that there isn't a time for lounging by the pool. God blesses us with peace and much needed rest. I'm specifically talking about when we send someone out to do something "for God" and asking for safety.

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