As we navigate through a world that seems to have danger lurking on every corner, are we assured that God promises safety? Does the Bible give us the formula to stay out of harm’s way? Is there a powerful prayer that will guard our loved ones? In my heart-of-hearts, I want to believe that God will keep my loved ones safe.
Can anyone relate?
I wonder if that’s how Timothy’s mother and grandmother felt, as they watched him enter the ministry at a time when the persecution of Christians was paramount. These women, who were commended for their genuine faith, most assuredly prayed for Timothy’s safety, but I imagine they prayed for Timothy’s faith more than anything else. The lesson for us is that the security of our souls is worth far more than the safety of our lives.
The security of our souls is worth far more than the safety of our lives. #safety #Christianity Click To Tweet
As young Timothy joined the good fight, Paul, his spiritual mentor and father-figure advised him:
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God… (2 Timothy 1:8)
Share in the sufferings? Share?!
It sounds almost as if Paul were inviting Timothy to a friendly round of paintball!
But then I read the intense details of Paul’s hardships, and I am faced with the reality of human suffering.
Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness–besides the other things, what comes upon me daily; my deep concern for all the churches. (2 Corinthians 11:25-28)
Isn’t that the most perilous run-on sentence you’ve ever read?!
So, if God doesn’t guarantee our physical safety, what does He guarantee?
The Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
Let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You. For You, O Lord will bless the righteous; with favor, You will surround him as with a shield. (Psalm 5:11-12)
From these 3 verses, we are assured:
- God guards us from the evil one.
- God strengthens and helps us.
- God uphold us with His righteous right hand.
- God defends us.
- God blesses the righteous with favor.
- God surrounds us as with a shield.
No matter what the trial, we can still say, at the end of the day, that God is good.
When my daughter was born, we were ecstatic over our darling, dark-haired girl. But our joy lasted only a minute before the nurse took her from my arms and called in a team of people.
Our baby was gasping for air.
Through a tumultuous night, as Hannah was intubated and kept in the NICU, we waited, as tests were run and diagnoses were thrown our way. The CT scan showed a mass, located above her soft pallet, that was coming down into her throat and partially blocking her airway. The doctor on call threw out the possibility that the mass could actually be Hannah’s brain coming down between unfused bones at the base of her skull.
We were heartbroken.
Come to find out, the accurate diagnosis, was that Hannah had a benign tumor called a teratoma. It was basically a random group of cells that had grown along with her in utero. She was taken by ambulance to Denver Children’s Hospital where we faced 2 intense weeks of uncertainties.
There was a possibility that Hannah would never be able to speak or swallow. There was fear of severe nerve damage to her tiny face. Ultimately, there was a risk of death.
At the lowest point of that trial, I found myself standing over her hospital bassinet. Her face was so swollen from the surgery, her tongue was hanging out of her mouth. Her skin was deathly white from the blood loss. I didn’t even recognize her.
As I wept, I sensed a very clear question deep in my spirit.
“Will you still be able to say that God is good if He chooses to take her?”
That thought bombarded my fragile heart and rocked my faith to the core.
Then, as I leaned over to kiss my girl, tubes coming from her nose, mouth, and forehead, I began to sing over her in the scarcest of voice.
God is so good
God is so good
God is so good
He’s so good to me.
I sang that little chorus over and over until my heart finally surrendered Hannah to God’s will. I gave up trying to keep her safe, trying to make her better, and trying to deny that God might take her home.
“Even if you take her, Lord, I will still believe You are good.”
Did I stop praying for Hannah’s healing? No. I prayed harder than ever, enlisting prayer warriors from all over the nation. Later that day, I pulled out my Bible and tried to read through swollen, tear-filled eyes. This is the passage God lead me to…
“Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved.” Nehemiah 8:11
I remember blinking through the fog of tears, reading and re-reading that verse. Could it be, that the Lord of the universe was speaking words of comfort to me?
At that moment, I made a commitment to God; that I would raise Hannah in the instruction of His Word. I promised to share God’s truths with her and always remind her of His sovereign hand over her life. And my faith was built that day. It was built through a painful decision to trust. I couldn’t promise to keep her safe. I could only promise to be a mama of genuine faith.
I suppose Timothy’s mother had moments of fear, as her son joined Paul and began to share in his sufferings. But in genuine faith, I believe she had surrendered his life to the Lord, knowing He was a good, good Father.
Will we still say, at the end of the day, that God is good? Or, will we allow the painful consequences of a fallen world to snuff out our faith like a candle deprived of oxygen?Will we allow the painful consequences of a fallen world to snuff out our #faith like a candle deprived of oxygen? Click To Tweet
As I type this, I hear a song in the background:
Thy kingdom come Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
And there it is.
The answer for us, my friends.
There is no guarantee for our physical safety, in a world where mankind takes it upon themselves to step outside of God’s perfect will; where people decided to do whatever they like, based on their own inclinations. Sin began its destructive cycle the moment Eve doubted God’s Sovereignty and acted on it.
We are left with TRUST.
Thy kingdom come Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…
God may not promise us safety, but He does promise us eternal protection.
For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings. Psalm 61:3-4
Recently, I found this precious encouragement from author and speaker Jennifer Rothschild. She shares wisdom from the Proverbs about When It Hurts and You Don’t Know What to Do.
Are you longing for the promise of safety? Are you having a hard time committing your loved ones fully to the Lord? It’s hard, isn’t it? If you were able to relate to this post today, leave a reply in the comments. I’d love to know how you deal with fears for your family’s safety. Perhaps, together, we can join together in prayer and be like Timothy’s mother and grandmother…genuine women of faith.
How can I pray for you today?
Always an email away,
If you still haven’t grabbed a copy of my eBook, Prayer Worrier: Turning Every Worry into Powerful Prayer, you can get that here.
I am also giving away FREE digital copies, in exchange for honest reviews on Amazon. Simply email to request your free download.
Due to repeated requests, I am working on adding new material to the book, including discussion questions, daily devotions, powerful prayers, and ways to worship. If you would like a preview of the first 2 chapters, let me know. I’m happy to send you the link.
Thank you for all of your support! I’m more grateful than you know.