My daughters and I have lately been participating with some family friends in a virtual book study of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe put together by the ladies at Abiding Together (abidingtogetherpodcast.com). The study leaders bring out a perennially striking quote from Mr. Beaver in chapter eight; the children find out that Aslan is a lion and ask, “Is he — quite safe?” Mr. Beaver replies:
“Safe? . . . Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
Talk about a topic hovering around the human person at all times, especially at this present moment. So many people are looking for reassurance that a thing, a person, a place is “safe.” We can hardly count the ways that we try to pin down a sense of security in our lives. Retirement savings . . . insulating ourselves from difficult people and situations . . . gated communities . . . face mask tallies at Walmart . . . number of seconds of handwashing . . . The potential for fear and suspicion to overwhelm us really does seem to be always lurking at the door.
These fears, not easy to contain or reduce to a manageable size, are normal reactions to potentially scary situations. It also seems very human to long for a sense of security, and many of the prudent measures we take to care for ourselves are necessary and loving.
However, experience tells me that that when challenges come that disrupt and wreak havoc with my sense of stability, I am not going to be pulled through them by a human sense of safety. I am not going to get through the tough thing by asserting more and more measures of control to my personal environment. When scary things happen, I have to try to do what I can, but the only thing that is really going to rescue me is Someone beyond myself who is not like our kind of “safe.”
In situations that seem unsecure, I have to ask: that Someone: the Lord, the King, the Triune God . . . even if he’s not a worldly kind of “safe,” do I really believe that he is good? And the King? Will I trust that He is good? Will I live like I trust that He is good?