A Heart at Rest

Each time September 11th rolls around, the same question is asked- Where were you? I know you’ve probably read a lot of somber stories of remembrance today, but this is a little different. This year, as it landed in the middle of my Yes journey with P31 Online Bible Studies, I saw it through a different lens.

My story is pretty much the same as every one else’s my age; I was only in the 4th grade, after all. I remember another teacher interrupting class to speak with ours in private. She returned, on the verge of tears, and summarized the events, nervously twirling the spirals that framed her face. “A plane hit a building in New York City. You’ll have to ask your parents about the rest.” Our school was immediately put on a code red lockdown, and while I was unnerved, I was more focused on being jealous of the 5th graders, who got to watch the events unfold on the news.

My 9 year old brain, only able to process the details it had been given, didn’t understand what the big deal was. I remember thinking, accidents happen all the time. What makes this different? 

It wasn’t until I saw the scarring images on the news that I began to understand. Families without parents, children without futures, a country without answers, a people without trust.

Before that day, I had been safe. Safe in my routine, my circumstances, and the arms of my loved ones. I began to realize for the first time that not everything and everyone in the world would keep me that way, not even if they wanted to. It was terrifying.

I have strived for safety my whole life. I have always stopped at yellow lights, called to check on loved ones, and followed the rules. While I thought this would add to my peace, it always takes away because I cannot be in control.

We cannot wait until we feel safe to say Yes to God. And, reversely, we cannot say Yes to God in hopes that it will make us feel safe. If God were in the business of keeping us safe, we wouldn’t feel the need to seek Him. Nowhere in the Bible does He promise our families will be safe. At least, not by the world’s standards. It seems a little harsh, doesn’t it?

I’ve always had a little bitterness about this, but recently, I’ve been challenged. In my experience, if God loves me, He should protect me and those I love. And while many times He works this way, sometimes it’s not His plan. The default response to these situations is always, “God has something better planned,” but I’m guilty of not believing it.

I’m slowly transitioning from a rule-following Christian to a grace-chasing one. In the recent encounters I’ve had with God, He’s been such a warm, whimsical figure who excitedly says, “Just.watch.this.” Now that I know Him, I’m starting to realize the whole idea of being safe is just a cheap illusion of control. My thought processes that revolve around His seeming obligation to protect me are just as harmful as the things I’m hiding from. I’ve got to rise above the world’s expectations to experience a God without limitations, abounding in love and get a glimpse from His perspective.

I must rest in what is true. If I am covered in Christ, I no longer have to devise my own shelter, escape routes, or back-up plans. If I am really looking for something to save my life, I need to stop asking for God to keep me safe and begin asking that He bring me closer to Him.

 

 

10 thoughts on “A Heart at Rest

  1. What an inspiring perspective… thank you for sharing your process with us. It’s amazing to me that you are so wise at such a young age. Your friends and family are blessed to be able to journey with you as you continue to say YES to God. I am certain God has great plans for you! Such good stuff!! Many Blessings, Debora

  2. Thank you for sharing. I totally get what you mean – the perception of security/control that we try to put on things. With the loss of my father and brother in the last five years, I have been brought to a very similar place. They are God’s before they are mine. His plans before mine.

  3. We are safe in the shelter of His wings; however our perspective is different than God’s. What He sees as safe isn’t necessarily (and most often isn’t) what we consider safe. I think about those being persecuted and even who die in other parts of the world because they will not renounce the name of Christ. From our perspective they are NOT safe; but when the focus becomes eternal, our perspective changes. Eternal security is safe.
    Praying to be brought closer to Him isn’t safe, but I don’t think God necessarily wants us safe. He want’s us to say YES. And you are! 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Have a wonderful day!

  4. I absolutely love this and can relate to every part of it. It’s a matter of giving up control. When we have a back up plan, we really aren’t trusting Him. Thank you!!

  5. That is such a great post and perspective from someone as young as you. Wisdom a gift from God He is in control and our trust must be on Him knowing He has it. Total trust ,where I cannot see I’ll trust for then I know my God is all in all. Thanks for sharing God provides what we need when we need it . Blessings on you as you continue to say ” Yes to God” and grow in Him.
    Marilyn (OBS Group Leader)

  6. Beautiful thoughts. I especially liked it when you said “rule-following Christian to a grace-chasing one”. Thanks so much for sharing. Debbie W. (OBS Facebook Group Leader)

  7. I love this! I think it must be a control thing instead of a trust thing. I seem to spend a lot of time praying, ” keep my children safe, keep my Grandchildren safe, keep my son in law safe (he’s on deployment ), keep my husband safe, who’s on a business trip”. I need to start praying, keep them and me closer to Him, and realize he has a perfect plan, for their lives.

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