God is My Safe Place

safe refuge 2

Friends, I am excited to share with you something that has been one of the most helpful truths I’ve ever learned: God is my safe place.

This has clicked with me in a new way because I’ve been realizing that one of the things I crave most deeply is safety.  I try to control things around me.  I have this compulsion to create order.  I’m performance oriented, trying to be perfect.

Part of the reason I need safety is because I’m insecure by nature.  But I’ve also discovered that I can trace this need for safety back to the time when I was 16 and my mom got divorced from my stepfather.  It felt like the rug was pulled out from under my feet, and everything was chaotic.  My mother was having a very hard time.  I felt powerless.  Life stunk, and I couldn’t do anything about it.  I was lost in depression.

So I developed protection mechanisms against my fears.  I would try to be perfect and control the world around me so I would not feel vulnerable.  Over the years I’ve grown and I can find much peace and security in God.  But there’s still this lurking fear of chaos, and this knee jerk reverting back to my protection mechanisms.

But now I’ve had this huge light bulb moment.  God is my safe place!  Only he can satisfy my deep craving for security.  Only he can calm my fears.  I can’t tell you how much this is changing my perspective, how much more relaxed I am.

The scripture that is thrilling my heart right now is Ps. 91:2,  “This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.”  (NLT)

I am in a bubble of protection, where it’s like I’m in a peaceful field of flowers.

field of flowers

Where is your safe place on earth?  For me, I think of watching the waves on the beach, or sitting on the wide prairie at my family ranch and listening to the wind blow.

This is what our safe place is like in God, only much, much more so!

Ps 91 goes on to describe how we have safety in God:

He will shelter you with his wings; you will find safety under his wings. His faithfulness is like a shield or a protective wall.  (v. 4, NET)

For he will order his angels to protect you wherever you go. They will hold you up with their hands so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone. (v. 11-12)

We are safe because God is our protector.

Just as a bird shelters its young, God’s warm loving “wings” form a barrier between us and harm.

wings shelter3

It is a true force field!  No evil can reach us unless the Lord allows it.  If you don’t believe this, read the book of Job and see how Satan had to petition God to be able to tempt Job.

God has a divine security system.  He guards what is most precious to him.  Immensely powerful angels are commanded to take care of us.  I don’t know how this works, but they are there.  God doesn’t leave his own vulnerable, at the mercy of evil.  He assigns assets from his incredible resources to take care of them.

We are safe because God is our rescuer!  We don’t have to fear falling prey to chaos.

For he will rescue you from every trap. (v. 3)

Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. (v. 5)

When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. (v. 15)

Here are some of my biggest fears — I fear feeling like things are out of control, I fear that something bad will happen that leads to more of a mess, I fear the downward spiral, I fear making mistakes, and I fear failure.

But it is becoming clear to me that God has my back.  His heart is for me, and when things go wrong, he’s there at my side, helping to work things work out.

More than this, though, I’m seeing that it is bigger than just me crying for help and the Lord answering.  It’s that God has a plan, and I am a part of that plan.  He saved me for a reason and he has a purpose for me. (Eph 2:10)  All through history, God has accomplished his plan, and nothing, I mean nothing, has been able to get in the way of what he intended to do.  The same is true when it comes to me.  I’m so scared, thinking something is going to go wrong, or I’m going to mess things up.  But I am a part of God is doing, and what God is doing is like a solid wall.

Philippians 1:6 says,  “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”  God is going to get me where I need to go, in spite of disaster, in spite of my weaknesses.  Yes, I need to do my best.  Yes, I must remain vigilant against evil.  But I can be peaceful and assured.

We are safe because we rely completely on him.

If you make the Lord your refuge, if you make the Most High your shelter, no evil will conquer you; no plague will come near your home. v. 9-10

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  v. 14

Isn’t it ironic that we want to be safe, but we keep putting our trust in things that really can’t keep us safe?  We cling to our deeds, our job, our possessions, our relationships, our bank account, our strength, our intellect, our routines.  And, of course, these things aren’t stable.  But when something goes downhill, we hold to them for dear life because they’re tangible and they’ve given us a temporary sense of security in the past.

Until it gets worse, and then we cry out to God, and God’s like, “I want to be your life preserver, but you have to let go of the sinking ship!”

sinking ship

In order to be safe, we have to jump headlong into something we can’t see, something that feels unsafe.  We have to throw ourselves into God’s arms.

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If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it. Luke 17:33

It’s a solid truth, repeated over and over in the Bible.  Life works when we trust completely in God.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not upon your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”  Prov. 3:5-6

“Remain in me and you will bear much fruit.  Apart from me, you can do nothing.”

So I’m developing new protection mechanisms: jumping into God’s arms, envisioning myself being in the tranquil oasis with God, holding to the promises that God will protect and rescue me.

And I feel free.  Free to be myself and work out God’s plan without constantly editing myself and the world around me.

But there’s one more thing.  Something in me protests, “But God doesn’t always keep us safe.  He sometimes allows terrible things to happen.”

That is true.  And my answer is I Corinthians 10:13 — “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

In our hardship, there will always be something we can grasp onto that will help us get through.  It could be finding the perfect scripture, or gleaning an insight, or feeling comfort, or being strengthened, or having a prayer answered at just the right time.

God sometimes keeps us from the bad stuff, and sometimes he doesn’t.  But he will always help us when that bad stuff comes.  We will still be safe, because God is immeasurably faithful, and he has immeasurable resources to bring to bear on our behalf.

My fears are subsiding.  I’m fighting that voice that says, “Things are falling apart.  I hate myself.”

God has set me in a state of security IN HIM.  He is the answer to my deepest desires, and I am tearful with gratitude.

“There is no fear in love.”  I John 4:18b

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