Friday, April 17, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: Safety

God is our safe place
A devotional by Alexis Newlin

“The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous run to it and is safe.” 
– Proverbs 18:10 (ESV)

Do you have a need to feel safe in your life? Is that need preventing you from taking steps of faith in your Christian walk with God? Here’s how I handled one aspect of this need to feel safety in my life.

I struggle very much with the fear of being hurt by another person, whether it be a friend, spouse, sibling, stranger…I do not want to get hurt. Because of this fear, I often try to put myself in situations where I won’t experience hurt and I won’t try to connect with a person unless I can feel completely safe with them.

I told one of my friends this while out to lunch one day and she told me these wise words:

“That’s a lot to put on a person – feeling safe with them. It’s an impossible request to meet. Only God is your safety. No one on this earth can fulfill that. You may need to repent to God for this, for seeking safety in someone other than Him.”

Bam! My eyes were opened. SAFE. That’s it! Not feeling safe was the root of my fear. If I didn’t feel safe, there were a lot of things that I would refuse to do outside of this situation.

I had to feel safe and secure before taking action in many areas of my life. So after realizing this, I took this new information to God. We went on a journey to find out where my holding on to safety higher than anything else came from. This is what we found:

As a child, my environment was unpredictable. It was not always safe. As I grew older, I vowed to always have a safe place and have those around me that I considered safe. It became an idol. What I called being cautious was actually me being fearful. Yikes.

God then had me look up the definition for safe from Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Here is what I found to define the word safe: free from harm or risk : UNHURT 2a: secure from threat of danger, harm, or loss 3: affording safety or security from danger, risk, or difficulty 5a: not threatening danger : HARMLESS 6a: not likely to take risks : CAUTIOUS b: TRUSTWORTHY, RELIABLE.

I look at this definition and to me, being safe on this earth almost seems impossible. We encounter things and people that could harm us every single day. There is no way that we can go one day without encountering some sort of physical, emotional or mental harm.

I was honest with God, telling Him: “I am trying to grasp the concept that you God, are my safe place. That you will protect me and keep me from harm. Many painful things happen every single day. How are you keeping me safe if I get hurt?”

It is so beautiful when God answers.

This is what He said to me and it redefined my definition of safe:

I use your pain to grow you. The injuries you encounter help you grow stronger and stronger each and every day. How do you grow without trial?

A flower must work in order to bloom. It must break its way out of the seed, and then plow through the soil to get to the water and sunlight it needs just to bloom. When it blooms, behold, there is all manner of things that can and will destroy the flower – too much rain, not enough water, too hot, too cold – yet it still blooms.

You are to bloom no matter what you encounter. When trials come, when you feel afraid or face danger, when you feel unsafe then I, God, will be there. I will be a safe place. I will stand beside you; hold you up so you do not fall.

Despite what comes, I am your safe place.

This sent me on a quest to study everything the Lord says about His safety and protection. I found so much. I keep finding verses that show how He has protected us and continues to protect us. Words like, refuge, stronghold, strong tower, shield, shelter, secure and fortress describe our Father and the beautiful things that He does for us if we run to Him. Some of my favorite verses from this study are:

Proverbs 18:10 says, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous run to it and is safe.”

Proverbs 30:5 says, “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”

Psalm 28:7 says, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song, I will praise him.”

This has been such a beautiful journey to take with the Lord and a journey that I am still walking. It was hard to admit that at times I do not feel safe with the Lord. But, had I not admitted it, I would still have this barrier between God and me. God will do anything to let us know how much He loves us and cares for us.

Although there are times I don’t feel it, it gives me comfort to know that His protection and love for us is splashed all over the pages of His word. God is, and will always be, my safe place.

Author Bio:

Alexis is a 36-year-old lover of Jesus, loose leaf tea, roller coasters, writing stories and going on adventures. Originally from Marietta, GA, Alexis now resides in Fresno, CA. 

You can always find Alexis outdoors enjoying a walk in her neighborhood, scoping out the newest food truck, hanging out with friends or planning her next trip.

Her church, The Revival Center, and family mean the world to her. They have supported her through the loss of her mother and her own cancer diagnosis.

Alexis enjoys encouraging others by reminding them not to look at what they see, but to always look to God, who is working in the unseen.

Alexis currently writes for several online ministries and launched her first podcast – The Brave Podcast – in January 2020.

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