Love Is Not Always Safe
Love, no matter how you come at it, is a huge risk. It makes it easier for me to remember that God will never reject me because I am not good enough and that any community that has His heart will embrace me as I am. Jesus invites us into a community where imperfect people can find acceptance, love, forgiveness, and a new beginning. ― Erwin McManus
At once the Spirit sent him out into the wilderness, and he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him. – Mark 1:12-13
Safety is a priority for our society. We invest heavily in it because we want to be safe. There are doctors for folks that are hurt or sick. Helmets are worn when people ride bikes or motorcycles. Cars have seat belts and airbags. Homes have locks on doors and windows. Entryways have cameras. People in hospitals wear bracelets for identification purposes. There are baby monitors so that parents can hear if their children have an issue. There are special cabinets with locks and safes to protect our valuables. Everything online is password, passcode, fingerprint, or retina protected. People like to feel safe. We want to know that our family, our friends, and our possession will be free from harm. There is certainly wisdom in all of it.
The problem is that sometimes, our faith can and should take us to places that aren’t safe. The Holy Spirit sent Jesus to a place that wasn’t safe. He was in the wilderness for 40 days where he was faced with temptation from the Great Accuser himself. There was nothing safe about that environment. There were wild animals and Satan. It doesn’t get much more unsafe than that. As much as we want to feel and be safe, there will be times when stepping out into unsafe territory is going to be necessary. This is particularly true if a person wants to see their faith grow. When the Holy Spirit led, Jesus was obedient despite the danger before him.
Here are some things for you to consider when you are led to places or to moments that don’t seem safe.
1. You are not alone. Jesus understands exactly what you are going through because he knows what it is like to be in scary situations.
2. He can relate. When Jesus was in the wilderness, he had the angels to attend to him. God will not forsake or abandon you. He will be with you.
3. Faith grows through conflict and hardship. People tend to grow when they struggle and overcome fear.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, I know that you will lead me into unsafe territory sometimes. Grant me the strength and courage to go where you lead and to love those that you place in my path to love. Help me to be bold and to have a spirit of power and love, not fear. Amen.