The debate about Syria continues. Obamacare seems to have many flaws that will cost our citizens dearly. The President’s foreign policy – simply isn’t. A convicted man hangs himself in his prison cell. Gas prices are on the rise because of the uncertainty in the Middle East. Workers attempt to force Walmart to unionize. The brutality of the Syrian rebels is staggering. There is a threat of nuclear retaliation if Syria is attacked. The unemployment rate climbs. No one wants to take responsibility for anything. A mayoral candidate in our largest city is dismayingly shameless about his aberrant behavior.
Is there a safe place? It would appear not. We are a global community. Each of us is affected by what happens elsewhere – no matter how far away.
Recently I attended a funeral for a man who was 104 years old. He was a marvelous singer in his long life and as they wheeled his casket into the service they played a recording of him singing, “Safe in the Arms of Jesus”. It was a lovely and emotional few moments. But the truth was profound. The only safe place we have that is certain is in Jesus. It is a secure place – for all of time and eternity.
The Psalmist refers to the shadow of His wings over and over: “Hide me in the shadow of Thy wings.” (Ps. 17:8) “The children of men take refuge in the shadow of Thy wings.” (Ps. 36:7) And one of my favorites is Psalm 57:1: “And in the shadow of Thy wings I will take refuge, until the destruction passes by.” Destruction is all around us. The scriptures tell us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Ps. 46:1)
God is our refuge, strong tower, shield, defender, deliverer, hope, invincible, strength, mighty, protector, peace, victor, savior, redeemer, powerful, keeper… That sounds like a safe place to dwell. We cannot do all that for ourselves – we can depend on Him to be there for us in the darkest days. It is safe with Him.
Do bad things happen to those who trust God? Did He let them down? Somethimes it appears so. But we only see things from our perspective, not God’s. We live in a double reality – we know our pain and loss but we also know His love and care. It is good to throw our cares (fears, anxieties, pain, loss) on Him because He cares for us. Totally. Eternally.