If you’ve ever misplaced your keys, even for a moment, you know that singular feeling of panic it produces. Few emotions match the frustration of looking down at your key-chain inside your already locked vehicle, which is why most of us carry an extra set somewhere close!! We’ve also developed extremely precise personal systems for how and where keys are stored when not in use (side pocket of purse, shelf by the door, right pocket of coat). Nothing worse than being locked out of car, house, business or mailbox, even for a nanosecond. Life literally stops; familiar pathways of our rightful world are barred without warning. It’s a feeling of terror second only to losing your wallet.
Despite all our sophistication and virtual technology, this carbon-based unit just wants to feel safe. We crave it. We kill for it. It’s visceral, primordial, spiritual and utterly human. Too bad this sensation is mostly theoretical – an unattainable Utopia of the mind constantly out of our grasp. The mental strongholds we buttress ourselves inside using education, success, achievement, accumulation or fame, are eventually, inevitably, exposed as toddler’s sandcastles against life’s incoming breakers.
Which would explain why the maelstrom of 2020 has turned us all on our heads. This year has been like the shipwreck story of Acts 27: a tempest that never ends. We’re buffeted around on wild seas, one nation no more stable than another, and no end in sight. The recent US elections were like a storm within a storm, leaving us battered and bullied. Like Noah’s dove, we set out, mentally searching for dry land, only to return, exhausted, to the ark. It’s all mighty taxing to the human spirit.
The Lord knows our deep need for a home, a place, society, community, that is secure and dependable. So many promises of the Old Testament are centered around this primitive requirement. Time and again, He vows to give Israel a land of their own, divinely protected from enemies, a secured place of covenant.
Your shoes shall be iron and brass; and as your days, so shall thy strength be. There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rides upon the heaven to your help, and in his excellency on the sky. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before you; and shall say, Destroy them.
Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew.
Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency! Thine enemies shall be found liars unto thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places. Deuteronomy 33:25-29
Yahweh gives an oath to His people to protect them, which is why we feel so aggrieved at current circumstances. It messes with our basic theology. The problem is not that God doesn’t keep His promises. Our problem is that He is manifesting the answer, and we don’t perceive it. Amazingly, there are higher levels of security than an alarm-protected house or an assured income. Better vantage points than the corner office of your professional summit or the country club of desired social prestige, faster progress than the latest high-performance vehicle. The Lord is not only your profound defender, He’s your dwelling place.
Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. Psalm 90:1-2
Come on home, pilgrim. It’s been a long and crazy journey, but this is the time, literally, to ‘run home to Papa’! The Great Almighty is your safe house. In a world screaming with competing seductions for security and how to attain it, understanding God as your safe tower is not easy. The secret is not a scramble to attain, but actually, simply letting go. Release worry, anxiety, fear, expectation and ego. Cut out the tornadic swirl of media and unrelenting assault of world events and listen to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit within. Take a deep breath and trust the unfolding day as He leads you in it. A secure mind requires constant vigilance in the Word. It demands deep moments in prayer. Refocus on the tiny joys of the day, the layers of blessing we’ve taken so much for granted. You are safe as houses.
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. 1 Peter 5:10
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