Tuesday, February 21, 2012
life is not safe
Then I walk to my room quietly. Pacing through the living room with no light. Being careful not to bump anything. I crawl into my bed, tug my sheets tightly over me. I want to make sure I protect every inch of my body, below my head, from the little gush of cold air that comes through the vent. I often toss a little and remember to check the alarm. It’s set. 6:40 am. Of course, it’s ten minutes ahead. Gotta give me that much leeway. Then I take a deep breath. Mutter thank you Jesus, one last time for the evening. And safely, possibly smiling at the joy and peace that this moment produces, I close my eyes, hug my little monkey, who is the most loyal friend, and I fall asleep. I go into the darkness beneath my eyelids, assured somehow. Comfy. Safe.
Yet I wonder, is this really living? Is this routine really providing safety? Is a door locked, safe? It’s a nice blanket over me, safe? Is my lifeless cuddling monkey safe? Is closing my eyes, safe? Does falling asleep, comfy, safe, guarantee a return? None of these things guarantee safety. But what produces that safety is the trust that I put in these things. A trust so strong that gives me a sort of peace that I can sleep calmly, confident. Confident in a lock that even I could break from the outside if I tried hard enough.
But the difference is that trust I put on this. But is this trust, this safety, true living? Have we been called to live in this form of entrapment, when we choose a guarded life?
A week ago I heard Francis Chan speak at the One Conference in Miami. His words that night really confronted me. We often take for granted that call that we have been given to live in this world to reach those less fortunate, the broken, the forgotten, the broken hearted. So many of us, Christians, build a safe haven – nice church, we go to Christian restaurants, visit Christian hair stylist, stores, and doctors. This is not all wrong, but when you do this to shy away from running into non-Christians we are failing to fulfill the call of God. How can we be the salt of the world if we are not in it?
Jesus said we are not of this world, but we are in this world. We are the light of the world. Jesus has sent us to the world as his representatives. It’s not easy, I know. It’s dangerous. You may get rejected, abused, hurt, and killed. It’s not safe. The gospel is not safe. Following Jesus means doing what it takes to bring him glory, even if it means death. He did it for us. He died for us to have life.
About a year ago when I embarked on new adventures in my life and career, the Lord spoke to me. He assured me and I felt him whisper through the Holy Spirit that I should not be afraid. That this was his calling for me and that there was no need to fear because he took care of those he called. He would provide. That was all I needed to hear to feel comforted and ready to fulfill the task at that moment.
Now, months later, I still feel I am where I need to be. Recording an album, being a Christian artist and still holding a regular life (job, church, ministry) it all seems fun but it’s also a lot of work.
I again felt a little afraid. Is this what I need to do? Is this the place? This may be hard. My heart may break Lord, there are hardships. This is not safe.
That night, when I heard Francis Chan (and God had already been preparing my heart), I knew that serving the Lord was not always going to be safe, but that he always promised to care for those who obeyed His word and followed His call.
Life is not safe, it’s a jungle out there, but when you have your trust on Jesus, you could sleep peacefully door locked or not. “Just pick up your cross and follow him.”
Posted by Jennifer Rod at 11:07 AM