I long for safety so much more when it comes to my heart than when it comes to my physical wellbeing. In my work I’ve traveled to politically unstable countries without flinching (while those closest to me counted the days until my safe return). However, if you place me in a room with a man who gives me butterflies or across from a colleague to whom I must present an idea to, then I’m reaching for the Kevlar vest and looking for a place to take cover.
Psalm 144:2 He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge.
1 John 2:14 I write to you […] because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
Running and hiding are fear based responses; it’s that gut reaction when we feel overwhelmed with work, school or emotions that make us acutely aware of how little control we really have. Since I’m not a run and hide kind of girl, I tend to resort to fighting on my own strength by trying to control others or myself. When I am rooted in God’s word and his truth he teaches me how to guard my heart against sin and how to intimately lean on him for protection. He makes me strong and secure through his word. He lives in me; he’s constantly the bigger guy in front of me when I try to tackle something greater than me. And even if I do get decked, he is there to tend the wound.
Ephesians 3:19 (Amplified) [that you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourself] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] onto all the fullness of God.
Experience makes all the difference, but it takes risk. Life is a risk, love is a risk. I am called to take the risks in order to experience Christ’s love and protection. Security in Jesus gives me freedom to fail, to fall, to be vulnerable, to allow myself to feel emotions that make me uncomfortable and scare me, and to trust that I can face all the unsafe situations securely in him. We can fail at our job, bomb the test or potentially lose the affection/ favor of that person who gives us butterflies, but no matter what happens Jesus is there and he will get us through it.
Ps86:11 Teach me your ways, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart…
Control can not protect me, it only traps me in my fears. When I hand my entire heart into God’s careful care, I can rest secure and relinquish control. It’s going to be hard, but knowing the difference between what reaching for safety versus reaching for security in God looks like is a good start.
A friend recently offered up a prayer for me that really moved me, he prayed that the only plan in my life would be to please God and be secure with who I am, an amazing woman of God. This prayer is one I am now praying for myself. At the end of the day I am called to love all but please only One. By doing so I can be who he’s created me to be. I can take risks knowing that I am enough because he is enough in me. I can boldly step into the unsafe and unpredictable situations knowing he is right there with me. I don’t need to figure it all out right now; he will show me the way as we move forward through the fire together.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.