In C.S. Lewis’s THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, the children were shocked to learn that the King of Narnia was a lion.
“Susan asked the Beavers, ‘Is he—quite safe? I shall fell rather nervous about meeting a lion.’
‘That you will, dearie, and no mistake,’ said Mrs. Beaver, ‘if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking they’re either braver than most or else just sill.’
‘Then he isn’t safe?’ said Lucy.
‘Save?’ said Mr. Beaver. ‘Don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about save? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.’”
We long for safety and life without risk. We want the known, the sure, the secure. And with these things Satan tempts us. He comes when we are anxious about our jobs, our income, our retirement funds and offers ‘reasonable’ options.
But the High King of Heaven calls us out of security into abundant life in Him. He calls us to live wild and radical lives of freedom from earthly entanglements. He calls us to learn what matters, what’s worth dying for and what’s worth living for. His options are not always ‘safe’ nor do they sound ‘reasonable.’
Slaves take on their Egyptian masters and demand to be set free? How safe was that? The first result was “You must have too much time on your hands. Get your own straw for the bricks from now on—but keep up the quota.” It was not reasonable to expect the Egyptians, with all the wealth and all the power, to let this band of slaves leave. But hold on to your hats, Israelites, God was about to do something radical! A few flies, gnats, frogs, lice, dead cows. . .well, ten plagues later, the Israelites waltzed out of Egypt like the winner of Dancing with the Stars. God’s plan wasn’t safe but He is good!
Was it safe for a teenaged David to take on the giant Goliath? All the warriors of Israel hid like frightened kittens when Goliath came out and mocked them. David, young and too small for proper armor, moved obediently with God’s wild rhythms. One boy, one slingshot, five smooth stones and the impossible was accomplished. Is God safe? No, but He is good!
In the desert or at the Jordan River, when we walk with God we are in for a wild journey. He knows short cuts that take us to incredible mountain vistas and some that rung through places as arid as an Iraqi desert. But He is good. He doesn’t ask us to become adrenalin junkies, just sheep who know the Good Shepherd’s voice.
Let us not be seduced by safety and security. Let us not be tempted by the illusion of building a secure future. Let us leave the safety of the multitude for the wild, wonderful life in the flock of the Good Shepherd.