As a missionary, we get asked some weird questions, especially while on furlough. And we get asked a lot of the same questions. Common ones include- “So, don’t you just love it there?” Is it like being on vacation all the time?” (ha!) “How many people have you led to Christ?” And probably one of the top ones is- “Is it safe over there?”
The dictionary describes safe as: protected from or not exposed to danger or risk; not likely to be harmed or lost; uninjured with no harm done. I guess I understand what people are asking, but sometimes I want to ask them the same thing- “Are you safe here?”
Don’t get me wrong. I am all about safety and being aware and careful, but it seems more like a fear loaded question of, “Are you sure you should be doing what you are doing? Because you might get killed you know.”
Being the nerd I am, a good Lord of The Rings quote always brings balance…
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to…”
Any one of us, whether I am stepping out my door in a jungle in the Philippines, or stepping out my door on my way to work in America- We aren’t safe. We are not guaranteed safety from harm, danger, risk, or death. We could all easily let this knowledge completely paralyze us with fear. Maybe, if you locked yourself in your house on a deserted island and never left, you might be “safe.”
Yes, the job we do has completely different risks and concerns than living in America. Sometimes, thinking about my husband, flying into some of the most difficult airstrips in the world makes me nervous. Sometimes, living where we live and the things that go on make me concerned. But being in the center of God’s will is always the safest place to be. And on an island in the Philippines is where His will is for us.
As Josh was reading aloud to the kids last night before bed from The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe, I overheard him read something I’ve read many times, but it struck me because “safety” has been on my mind a lot lately.
“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
Our God isn’t safe! He is mighty, just, & all-powerful. But oh, He is GOOD! Our trust is not in safety, but in His goodness.