A Safe Place

By Marjorie F. Eddington

A new school year tends to bring with it lots of emotions and opportunities. There are opportunities to improve academically, athletically, artistically, etc. But there are also opportunities that challenge us to understand true safety—where it comes from, and how we feel it. It’s all God.

We could probably rattle off a list of dangerous situations that involve people who make bad decisions with cars, drugs, alcohol, sex, performance-enhancing drugs, cheating, theft, etc. We could lock ourselves in our room and never come out.

Or we could earnestly look to God for our safety, praying each day to understand that we are safe in God’s care—safe from the pressure of peers who do stupid things (yes, stupid); safe from accidents or injuries; safe from immoral activities; safe from a myriad of messes.

Getting clear that our safety comes from God doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t ever be tempted; it doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t ever be in an accident. But it does mean that we always have the power of pure, God-given thoughts that help us through difficult decisions or dangerous situations—safely.

There are several biblical success stories, among which are Joseph being thrown into the pit by his brothers and ending up in the palace; David beating Goliath and later escaping Saul’s attempts on his life; the three Hebrew boys emerging from the fiery furnace; Daniel surviving the lions’ den; Elijah fleeing Jezebel’s wrath and hearing God’s still voice; Jesus defeating the cross; Paul and Silas getting out of prison; Paul shaking off the deadly viper. All these people were safe in the midst of life-threatening situations.

How did they do it? I think they understood and trusted this concept written in the Law:

The beloved of the LORD rests in safety—
the High God surrounds him all day long—
     the beloved rests between his shoulders. (Deut 33:12 NRSV)

Resting in safety implies that we’re not anxious or worried. We’re able to be at peace, fully relaxed in God’s arms, assured that God surrounds us every moment of the day, confident that we are fully loved. So there’s no place where God is not there. There is no absence of God. There is only God’s omnipresent Love.

Of course, that means we have the responsibility to listen to God, which is easier when we think of ourselves as unified with God, living in Mind, not separate from God’s intelligence or being. We’re able to listen better when we’re calm, which comes easily as we rest with God. Then we can hear God’s healing and saving guidance and make better decisions so that we avoid many dangerous pitfalls. We always have the wisdom and inspiration of God, Mind, directing us and showing us how and where to go, what to do, with whom to socialize or speak.

The law continues: “The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you” (Duet 33:27 NLT). How grateful we can be that God’s “everlasting arms” are beneath us—supporting us (the arms are there!) with the tenderest love and with the strongest compassion. Those arms can easily push us up and out of a sticky or unsafe spot, hold us tight, shelter us from harm, or lead us to safety—whatever the need may be.

So if we want to be and feel safe, our responsibility is to stay with God. God’s responsibility is to care for us, and God does that better than anyone else ever could. And if we seem to wander, God’s arms are still there to bring us back and cradle us with loving care. How wonderful it is to feel completely safe with God!