Snug and Smug

I am a passionate person. I feel things easily. If there’s a sad scene more often than not I tear up. I get cross when people don’t do the sensible thing. If I see a wrong I want to right it, I see both sides of an issue and too often end up arguing for something I don’t really believe in because it’s only fair. I just discovered I am not a ‘champion of righteousness’ at all but rather snug and smug.

Snug in my happy home, surrounded by nice things, warmth, comfort, people I love. Smug because when I look at my life I see good things that I do, people who like me – so I must be nice, I see God using me so I must be OK. Someone shared a picture in prayer the other week of an electric cable with the end wrapped in black insulating tape. It spoke to me then and as I wrote just came back to me. The wire’s wrapped to be safe.

Safety is one of the confusing things about the Christian life. God holds me in safety, He promises I will be safe and secure but He calls me to walk out on the water like Peter. His purpose for my life has ended up with people being fed to lions, being executed. Even today the call on my life has people being beheaded or burned alive, driven from their homes, imprisoned. Not as safe as I might like…

Yes but… I say and maybe you do too. But what? Everywhere I look there are broken hurting people. The news is full of them. My city is full of them. The hospitals and hospices and clinics are full of them. The shopping malls and offices are full of them. The highways and roads are full of them. If Jesus walked this earth today where would He be and what would He be doing? I know my answer to that. I think the amazing thing is that the place I see Him is not necessarily the same one that you see Him. The world is a huge place and we are all called differently.

I thought I had shared Psalm 91 recently but glancing back I can’t find it. I know it was on my heart so it might have been one of those things I have been chewing over before sharing.

He who takes refuge in the shelter of the Most High
    will be safe in the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalm 91:1

I love this verse, God does hold me safe and this promise is for me wherever He sends me. It’s for me in my bed, on the bus, in the shop, at church, in the park, walking alongside my neighbour, cooking for my family, talking to the homeless guy, laughing with the kids on the street corner, in the alley with the drug addict, standing on the street corner with the prostitute, in India or Africa amid such poverty I cannot imagine it.

The promise, His character doesn’t change – I do as I come in line and look less at myself and more at Him. The electric wire has some use taped up safely but He doesn’t want to be safe in my life, He wants to be radical, energizing, life-changing. He wants to use me in ways that will make me unsnug and definitely unsmug BUT still safe under the shadow of His wings.

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