A Safe Place

17 11 2014

One of my absolute favorite set of verses is found in Psalm 91. Pretty much the entire chapter ranks among my all time go Scripture references. But verse two has been bouncing around in my head. In the New Living Translation it reads this way:

“This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.”

Now I’ve heard countless sermons on this passage and, to be quite honest, I’m not going to mention any of them. They were all great, eloquent, encouraging, and uplifting. But the thing that I most hear in this verse has not been preached in any of those messages – that I can remember any way.

Safety is something we all take very seriously. We build it into our playgrounds – known as a safety zone. We build it into our schools and church programs – known as a safety protocol. It’s built into cars and trucks – known as safety features. We take safety so seriously in society that when it’s threatened we take action to protect it. We alter our homes to be safer for our family to relax and enjoy life. Safety is, whether we realize it or not, always at the forefront of our mind. The word safe is defined as, “secure from liability to harm, injury, danger, or risk” according to dictionary.com. In fact the example cited is ‘a safe place’. So what do we do when that safe place is not so safe?

At some point our safe place can become threatened and risk of harm is possible. This peril can take many forms from a car accident to a home invasion to a natural disaster. At these times we seek an alternate, more secure place of safety. But what do we do when the threat is not physical? Where do we turn when life is raging around us and our safety and security is threatened? Schools all over the country practice what to do when their safety is threatened. They all have a safe place to run to when peril strikes. The news alerts us to impending storms with tornado watches to help keep us safe. But even with all the preparation there are still those storms that hit us suddenly.

The disciples experienced this very thing. “Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, ‘Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?’ (Mark 4:36-38 – NIV)” There are no warning sirens or alarms. There are no storm trackers or early alert system. Suddenly, without warning, their safety is threatened.

You know we’ve all seen it. I know I have. It can be anything. The company isn’t doing so well and makes some cuts and suddenly you’re out of work. A child suddenly falls ill and the doctors give a grim outlook. A husband or wife suddenly decides that they’re done and file for divorce. A volunteer makes some accusations and suddenly questions are being asked. Safety is violated and further harm is threatened.

The disciples’ fear must have been overwhelming. They forgot what David knew. “…he is my God, and I trust him. (Psalm 91:2)” To make somewhere your ‘safe place’ you are willing to trust your life to it. Who better to trust your life with than the Creator of life?
Though the storm raged around the disciples they were still in a safe place because God was there. Though the storm rages around us we are safe because He is our safe place. Whatever circumstances we face, though fierce, they cannot threaten our safety. We just need to run to the right place.

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