Thursday, June 17, 2010


Family One - Just moved into one of the roughest areas of their city with known drug activity and higher crime rates - Building relationships in their neighborhood in Texas.


Family Two- He quit his long time job as missions pastor at a mega-church to work full time in an impoverished neighborhood in North Carolina acting as a surrogate Dad to many fatherless children. Each week on several occasions he and his wife open their home to allow kids a place for fellowship, biblical teaching, and a place to rest and be loved.


Family Three- He was a senior pastor of a medium sized Baptist church for many years. He quit his paying secure job with benefits to work with the broken, hurting, homeless and lost in a central Texas RV-park.


Family Four- Uncertain of exactly where they should go, they are preparing to investigate a full-time ministry role in Peru and have sold many of their earthly belongings in preparation for the move. Safe?

The safest place to be is in God's will.

We once believed that this meant no harm would come to us or our family if we were at least attempting to follow Jesus to the best of our ability. These days that is seeming pretty shallow, wrong, and fairly self-centered. Why should it be easy and where did we get that cock-eyed idea anyway?

Things happen. There are challenges. Darkness attacks.

We're slowly learning that He heals, that He turns things intended for evil into things He can and does use for good, but mostly in the battle against darkness and injustice there are no easy pathways of 100% guaranteed protection ... because this is war and war is not without cost. In truth we've come to a place of recognition that our safety is not something we should cling to so tightly.

Does this mean we are never fearful?
We experience seasons of doubt and fear. We fear losing our children in Haiti. I find myself spinning tales in my mind of the horrible way I might lose one of them. I wonder how awful it will be to know that my choice to live in a place without great medical care could ultimately result in a death. At times it makes me want to tuck-tail and run back to a place I perceive as safe. But in my rational mind I know that I could lose them anywhere and at anytime - and that sometimes in order to follow Christ - increased risk and uncertainty will be necessary - and possibly even required.

I want to learn to be less fearful. I desire to be wise but not necessarily "safe". I want to believe that my friends who are walking away from their safety-nets will be provided for in miraculous ways. I want to trust fully in my Father's ability to get me through whatever the future holds; the mountains, the valleys, the good, the bad, through war or darkness.

From Radical - David Platt writes -

Jesus told them, "Go to great danger, and let it be said of you what people would say of sheep wandering into the middle of wolves. They're crazy! They're clueless! They have no idea what kind of danger they are getting into!" This is what it means to be my disciple.
We don't think like this. We say things such as, "The safest place to be is in the center of God's will." We think, if it's dangerous, God must not be in it. If it's risky, if it's unsafe, if it's costly, it must not be God's will. But what if these factors are actually the criteria by which we determine something IS God's will? What if we began to look at the design of God as the most dangerous option before us? What if the center of God's will is in reality the most unsafe place for us to be?