When I was younger, every single Sunday after church my grandma made a massive Sunday meal. In the summertime it was fresh salads, yummy vegetables, and cobblers. During the winter it was soups, roasts, swedish meatballs and butter rolls. People would become my friend, just so I would invite them over to grandma’s after church. When I left for college, I’d call her and bring a car full of my friends home on the weekend. I came home to her house during college more than I went to mine. I felt safe at grandma’s house. She was the one that was always steadfast in my childhood. She was always there for me.
In the summer I would take runs to my grandma’s house a few streets away. I cheered competitively in high school and college. I’ve discovered I’m an Enneagram 3 which means I do nothing half way. So I ran a lot in the summers. I remember the path I ran so vividly. I took a left at the stop sign and ran between two houses a little down the road on the right the next street over. I’m not even sure we knew them, but they didn’t mind. I ran through the woods and passed a pasture. We lived in the country, so I’d have to run through a little creek before I’d make my way up the next hill. I’d come out at the bottom of her culdesac and I’d get to my grandma’s house soaking wet with sweat. And every time she’d have a tall glass of ice water sitting on her island for me.
I walked through her door and felt safe. She was always the same. She was always there. I could count on her not only to feed me an amazing meal, but to give me an attitude adjustment if I needed it. But most of the time, she would just tell me how proud she was of me. I needed her. Looking back, I spent a lot of time at her house because I felt safe there.
I’ve had that same feeling lately. Of needing to feel safe.
Unlike my childhood, everything else in my life is all I’ve ever dreamed it would be. But on my insides, God is shaking and shifting and stirring.
If you were to peek into the garden of my heart, you would see lots of black, fresh soil. The kind of soil that has been tilled. If you were to look closely you’d see a chopped root over there and another one over here. When soil is freshly tilled, it’s the best kind to walk through barefoot. Because all of the weeds and rocks and roots are out.
It’s tender, really tender.
This season is a hard one to explain, on the outside there is no reason for me to not feel safe, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. But on the inside, with so many things shifting, my heart feels exposed and very vulnerable.
Jesus has tilled through the soil of my heart leaving it very tender. He’s done this, because I want a heart that is fully His. And if I want that is fully His, old, dead roots can’t stay.
Having tender heart soil can feel so scary. I’m convinced we don’t let God come in to the deep places in us, because we’re too scared of what He might find. I think we’ve bought into the lie that if the door is closed then there is nothing to see. When in fact, that closed door in our heart, is the very thing that is keeping us from going to deeper places in His. I also think the reason we don’t lay it all bare before Him is because we truly don’t have a revelation of His love for us. If we did, we’d pour it everything we have out right before His feet. When we realize the depths of His love, pouring all of ourselves out is the only response.
Even if that means we’re exposed.
Safe people never go anywhere in God’s Kingdom. They look like everyone else sitting on the sideline. And I made up my mind a long time ago, that I wasn’t going to live a life that was safe.
Yet safety is the very thing I’ve been longing for.
I had an encounter with Him several weeks ago. I saw an image in my mind’s eye of me as a little girl, dressed in a ballerina outfit, wearing ballerina shoes, dancing on a tightrope. To everyone around me, I look incredibly vulnerable. I had nothing to hold on to. There was no harness to catch me if I fell. But to me, I was perfectly safe. I heard my Father’s voice calling to me to come to Him. I felt His hand on my back, right behind me. When I looked to the right or to the left, there He was.
My safety net was Him. If I fell, I fell onto Him.
I’ve heard this quote from C.S. Lewis over and over in my mind the last several weeks. “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course He’s not safe. But He’s good.”
Sometimes, most of the time, what He calls us to, in the natural doesn’t feel safe. But the beauty of it all, is that He is the safe one. And we can always trust that because of His steady character, He is good.
Over the last several months I have exposed places of my heart that was in desperate need of His love. And although it’s been scary to go there with Him, I’ve never felt more safe. Because the truth is that I am hidden in Christ Jesus.
Colossians 3:3 says, “Your crucifixion[a] with Christ has severed the tie to this life, and now your true life is hidden away in God in Christ.”
The word hidden in Greek means “concealed protectively.” It’s the same language that’s used in Psalm 91, where we are covered by the shadow of His wings, like a mama bird covers her babies.
Beloved, if you need to feel safe today, if chaos is surrounding you, if you are feeling vulnerable and exposed, know that you hidden in Jesus.
You might feel like you’re on a tightrope with no safety net, but no matter where you fall, you fall into Him.
He’s all around you.
“You are all around me, behind me and in front of me. You hold me safe in your hand.” Psalm 139:5