God is our safe haven but choosing to follow Him feels risky because we have to step into unchartered territory.  Amidst life’s disappointments and sorrows, I know full well that in the arms of Jesus is SAFETY.  The bible describes God as one’s refuge, shield, shelter, fortress, strength, protector, and defender.  David trusted in these attributes of God.  He didn’t take matters into his own hands but risked his life believing God would keep him safe from those pursuing him.  Indeed, God is safe but trusting Him to the place of obedience feels very unsafe.   Yet, if we are to know God intimately this path is inevitable.  It is the narrow path which Jesus said would lead to eternal life. 

Choosing God is painfully difficult!  How I wish it were effortless!  The more I abandon myself to Jesus, the more out of control I feel.  I prefer to live life my way and have God nearby on a needed basis.  Sometimes, I feel like God owes me.  Life is good and I like Him when things are going well.  The moment trouble lurks or uncertainty arises, doubt weighs heavily on my heart.  When I miscarried in 2005, I deeply questioned God’s goodness and power.  My faith was severely shaken.  Three years later I was assigned the most labor intensive, mentally draining, and spiritually challenging job in my life thus far.  I left full time employment to be a stay at home mom, I was dealing with a lengthy recovery from an emergency C-section, our family had downsized to one vehicle, I was housebound with no social outlet and adjusting to my husband working long tax season hours.  With little success I attempted to maintain the safe, controlled and comfortable world which I had built for myself.      

I nearly gave up on God but risked trusting Him and found safety in His mighty arms.  I was studying the book of Job at the time of the miscarriage so learning about Job’s senseless suffering helped me cope with my loss.  In the 2 long years of barrenness God consistently reassured me that He saw my pain.  As a new mom, all I could do was cling to God when post partum depression struck.  Repeatedly I prayed, “God, I need your strength and wisdom for this journey.  Please come for me”.  Surely God showed up.  In the gloomy winter Erie days, God would bring out the sun each day even beneath thick clouds just to let me know He was present.  He sent me a seasoned mother and a young mom to encourage me that better days were ahead.  I felt God near me as I studied His Word with women who were also seeking Him.  God’s provisions were sufficient for our family even though we couldn’t see how finances would fare with one income.  God was in control.      

Friends, does God have control of you and your life?  Giving up control of anything is scary especially when it comes to the direction of one’s life and every choice therein.  Perhaps the initial step of letting go is the biggest hurdle for all of us.  In my elementary school gym class, we had an exercise where each student was paired with a partner as we took turns falling backwards trusting fully that our partner would be there to catch us.  Some of us fell freely and others fell halfheartedly depending on who was behind us.  Unlike humans, God can always be trusted when we fall into His arms because He is our safety.  Living life God’s way may feel precarious but there is no other path for Jesus said in Mark 8:34, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me”.  God is in control with or without our submission.  How our life turns out and what we contribute to eternity is determined by our willingness to give up control of even the minute details of our lives to Jesus.   This is my daily battle and I will keep fighting for God to have full control of me.  I pray you will do the same.