But… is it safe?
This is the question that everyone wrestles with at some point in their lives. Nearly every move that we make that has any measure of risk involved begs an answer. When you are preparing to make a move overseas, this is the most common question that is ringing in our ears, and if I’m honest, in my own heart. Particularly, as a young mother, this is what often keeps my anxious thoughts alive at night, as I wrestle with my calling to missions and my young sleeping child in the next room.
The very nature of the safety question means that there is risk. Risk is uncomfortable. It takes on many different forms and look different for you than it does for me. If we think we have control and can avoid risk, we are fooling ourselves. We are not talking about some sort of adrenaline thrill here. This is not the kind of risk that is fueled by self-reliance, or the desire for adventure, or some sort of Christian heroism. This is the real, honest, obedience-fueled risk that comes when you follow Jesus… and it is inevitable.
So, how do we answer the safety question? We pray for safety. We thank God for all the times He has kept us safe. As parents, we believe, as stated in our baptism vows for our son, that “this child is a possession of God entrusted to our care” and take all the necessary steps to be responsible in our decisions towards that end. We search our hearts and lay our inmost motives and fears before the Lord. We prayerfully ask God for the same faith that He gave to Esther, or to Paul, or to answer like Joab: “Be of good courage, and let us be courageous for our people, and for the cities of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to Him.” (2 Samuel 10:12). We humbly and prayerfully make decisions and leave the results to God. Then we take a step forward. Our calling and our pursuit is to have faith in the omnipotent and powerful Jesus Christ and to “seek FIRST the kingdom…”
For us, this looks like going to South Sudan for a time to help strengthen the churches there. For you, it may look like coming to join us. Or answering that beckoning call to somewhere else…to a “dangerous” country, to a different part of town, to the other side of your office with different coworkers, to that next door neighbor. It may look like handling your money in a way that allows you to give sacrificially, even when that seems irresponsible in the eyes of the world. It may mean opening your home to foster children or host the stranger at your dinner table. It may mean standing up for what you believe in when the culture laughs in your face and calls you out for standing in the way of “progress.”
My husband Zach recorded the following video as an RPTS seminary assignment and we wanted to share it with you. It is our prayer that you too would lay hold of this promise for you: true and ultimate safety comes from the Lord. You can lay hold of that eternal promise as you step forward into the risks and concerns of this life.