“Then I said to you, ‘Do not be in dread or afraid of them. The LORD your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness, where you have seen how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.’ Yet in spite of this word you did not believe the LORD your God, who went before you in the way to seek you out a place to pitch your tents, in fire by night and in the cloud by day, to show you by what way you should go.” Deut. 1:29-33
“I want to stay right here where it’s safe,” I thought as I lay curled up in a fetal position on the floor under a cozy pink blanket with my body cuddled up behind paralyzed dog Mr. Simeon whom the Lord had blessedly just saved from a critical illness and probable euthanization. Then I sprang up from the warmth of his body and came out from under the blanket and hurried to my computer to write this message.
The safety I was thinking about didn’t have anything to do with my beloved dog Mr. Simeon, but had everything to do with the fact the Lord was calling me to return to Virginia for my ministry work. I knew no details other than that I had by God’s grace alone found a hotel that would welcome me and my sweet dogs. Yet even without details by faith I was giving away or throwing away most everything I had except bare necessities for ministry and dogs, I was aggressively seeking housing in Virginia, a renter or buyer for my house in South Carolina, and adoptive homes for some of the dogs. Safety to me wasn’t so much physical security though I am so exceedingly thankful to God for that, but is the “safety” of the familiar, the comfortable, what I am used to, what I know, my daily routine, my usual surroundings, one of my dearest friends ever being close by, a vet and staff I so love, the homeless I minister to in Savannah, the house I know everything about, etc. I needed to release all of this into God’s hands and be willing to go anywhere to do anything for Him. And I am. Willing to forsake the comfortable, the familiar, because all this is nothing compared with loving and following Him forever.
In the verses above, the Israelites, whom God delivered from bondage to bring into the promised land, forgot how their loving merciful God had carried them, led them, and provided for them in the past and didn’t believe He would lead them forward in the same way. Their lack of faith angered God and cost them the promised land. How easily I could crawl back under the blanket where it feels safe and warm and hide from the rest of my life. But I choose to forsake the comfort of the familiar and to go forth placing my trust in Christ knowing God will lead me and keep me safe in His everlasting arms. Need to come out from under the blankets?