Rachel Dotzler – Student Pastor
I have asked myself this question many times. I have wrestled with the idea of a safe God in today’s world. We are constantly looking to feel safe physically, emotionally, and spiritually, but what does it mean to know a safe God? I started thinking about this years ago when I read one of my favorite book series, written by one of my favorite authors, C.S. Lewis. The Chronicles of Narnia and more specifically a book we all know, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. In this book there is a character named Mr. Beaver and he is having a conversation with the four children:
“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
The “he” Mr. Beaver is referring to is Aslan and if you know anything about Narnia, Aslan is represented as God. So what does this mean? “Course he isn’t safe.” Is it true? Is God not a safe God? The book of Psalms and among other places in the Bible, scripture tells us our God is our refuge, our protector, and it’s true. I think when we place our trust in God as our protector, things that we go through in this life make more sense. Now, I didn’t say complete sense, we would be fools to think that we can make sense of everything, but knowing God is our refuge makes it easier to cope with things because we know He is holding us through it and understands our pain and joy.
The catch is we often relate safe and comfortable as the same thing. They’re not. If you are looking to be the kind of safe that represents being comfortable with your faith and being comfortable knowing God, I am here to tell you that that is not really what it means to be a follower of Jesus. God is not safe, at least not the kind of safe we all think. You see when Mr. Beaver said he isn’t safe, but He is good (referring to Aslan), I think he was saying that God is a good God, but He isn’t going to make you comfortable. He is going to stretch you, He is going to challenge you, He is going to give you opportunities that may look impossible, and He will use you to reach others in really uncomfortable situations. He is good and because of his goodness we know we are free in Him alone, but His desire is to not keep us safe, His desire is to follow Him even in the darkest of times, when our faith is tested, and when we have to step out in faith and in the not so safe world we live in. That is our call.
“I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.” – C.S. Lewis
I am venturing into a crazy awesome opportunity in November. I get to be a part of a group of women going to Israel/Palestine for 10 days to understand the conflict that has been going on for so long, not to take sides, but to simply learn and engage with everyone we meet. I get to meet everyday peacemakers that are living there and are literally being the hands and feet of Jesus. I mean…seriously? I get to walk where Jesus walked? I get to meet peacemakers, refugees, and love on so many different people of different cultures and religions? Words cannot describe how grateful and excited I am for this opportunity. Will I be uncomfortable? Yes. Is this what I consider a “safe” move in my relationship with Jesus? No. I will be moved, stretched, uncomfortable, uneasy, but my trust remains in my Protector and I will follow wherever He may guide me. Safe moves are not for Jesus followers.
Is God leading you into unsafe waters where you need to fully rely on Him? Are you living a comfortable and safe lifestyle? Do you need to meet your neighbors? Do you need to start serving? Do you need to mend a relationship? Do you need to do mission work? Ask Him. Allow Him to use you in an unsafe way. If you choose God, our lifestyle should look pretty darn unsafe. He can’t be our Protector if we are complacent and comfortable in our life.Click here for the photo credit on this post