I sit on the lush creek bank listening to the roaring mountain stream. The mountain cabin with smoke thinly trailing from the chimney, is backlit by the rising sun which chases away the chill. Taking a deep breath, I plunge my feet and gasp at the icy water, but revel in the jolt of life it gives me.
And I am alone.
A good alone
The kind I crave.
The alone of peace and quiet with civilization near for my extraverted needs, but far enough away that humanity is silenced and I am enraptured by nature’s love song to my soul. Hiding safely in the familiar, I retreat from the world as best I can.
And then I get the call
From five hundred and fifty miles away,
Mrs Johns, “I’m sorry to tell you, but your car not only needs a tune-up, but a new engine.”
And there is really no true escape in this life.
There it is, the reality that travels wherever I flee, from mountain peak to desert plains. The flat tires, the broken down cars, the bills to pay, the damaged relationships, work demands, devastating illnesses, betrayals, and death follows relentlessly.
The ruler of the earth cackles with glee as one wicked plot after another is thrown on unsuspecting Christians who are desperately trying to grab the elusive peace they chase.
The damaging winds are continually unleashed in hopes that we will give up on God, and blame him and others for our woes, refusing to remember the true origin.
God never promised it would be easy or asked us to play it safe.
If he wanted us to play it safe,
He wouldn’t have asked those four fishermen to leave the only life they knew, the familiar comfort of a gently rocking boat on the Sea of Galilee.
He wouldn’t have asked that young ruler to leave his riches and sign on for the adventure of a lifetime.
He wouldn’t have asked a simple carpenter to keep his vow to an already pregnant girl, who just happened to be carrying his beloved Son.
Five of the above said yes to a Savior and a new life fraught with trials, grief and joy.
One went away sorrowfully because the safety of his net bound him too tightly, and he couldn’t bring himself to cut loose. He chose riches over poverty, stability over uncertainty, and sameness over flux.
Who can blame him?
But in playing it safe, he gave up the chance of a lifetime, the opportunity of joyfully walking those dusty roads at our Savior’s side,
Regret as his companion of choice instead.
Somehow we think that if we take no risks, live a quiet simple life, ask nothing of no one and rely on self, we will find the peace we so desire.
Yet we must realize that “safe” is the road to living a half-life, paralyzed by fear of doing the wrong thing,
Or making the wrong choice,
So we do nothing at all.
We live in a strange empty holding pattern with bandaged wounds, temporarily protected from a life of sorrow, but conspicuously devoid of joy,
True healing impossible.
We must remember God has endless power, so who are we to limit it? Just because my feeble mind can’t fathom it, doesn’t mean he can’t do it.
So we must dismiss the lure of the lie.
We are not called to a spirit of timidity or fear. He begs us to
Live our life boldly
And let him heal the pain of the past and present.
The truth? Embracing God and bravely facing an uncertain future, is the road to a full and contented life.
I have to be wise enough to know that I can’t do it on my own,
And brave enough let go of control, and place my hand in his.
And always, always remember who is in my boat.
I Timothy 1:7 God didn’t give us a Spirit that is timid, but one that is powerful, loving and self-controlled.
-What is holding you back from living a life of peace and joy?
-Pray for bravery to step away from the “safety zone.”