by Stacy Sanchez
“Aslan is a lion–the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he–quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…
“Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
(C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe)
Is he safe? No, but he is good. The first time I read these words as a child, they leapt off of the page and resounded in my being. They became somewhat of an unofficial motto that I have chosen to live by. It’s right up there with “How hard can it be?” My friends won’t even let me finish that sentence anymore. They know what will be coming next–-something very, very hard.
I am a bit of a rule breaker. If there is a sign marking a trail that I’m supposed to stay on, I see that as a mere suggestion and forge my own. “Nothing was ever discovered by staying on the path.” I assert, as I grab my reluctant niece’s hand and tromp off into the desert. (I may have got a text from her mother the next time I took her hiking, asking if we could please stay on the path.)
I could have been an explorer–-except in cold climates. I’m daring, not stupid. I’m more of a warm weather, beach explorer. More than once, my husband has had to reel me in. The echoes of his warnings still ring in my ears: No, Stacy, you can’t do that. Don’t taste that! There might be parasites. Get off of the lava!! Don’t swim after the sharks! Moray eels don’t like you all up in their face. You went where? By yourself? Are you crazy?
This dare-to-be-me personality of mine has come at the cost of other people’s judgment. When I became a pastor, I was called sinful, uppity, and a woman with an agenda to take over. That’s a lot of names for someone that just wanted to love God’s people.
As the only female to play and coach in a baseball league, I was labeled with words that would today be considered homophobic and sexist. Even now, when I stand up for a righteous cause, I learn a whole new set of words that describe how others think of me.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 NIV
In him and through faith in him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12 NIV
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1 NIV
I guess I just take these verses to heart. If the Bible says we are free, ’nuf said. We have the freedom in Christ to be all that He has created us to be. Why don’t we act like it?
Freedom isn’t always safe. Quite the opposite. It can be messy. It costs us something. It cost Christ everything to give us our freedom. He definitely didn’t live a life of safety. If you think about it, a safe life isn’t a free life. We’re bound to be held captive by something or someone—maybe even our own fearful desires for safety.
When we are doing what God has called us to do or be, it can be scary. People will judge us. They will make their opinions known. It can hurt. But God is much more concerned with our character than our comfort. It is scary to step out into the great unknown of his calling. Nope, it might not be safe out there, but it is good because God is good. His ways are good. His plans for us are always good. And sometimes we find out that even though scary, it can be a lot of fun.
“I prefer a dangerous freedom over a peaceful slavery.” –Thomas Jefferson
Amen! Me too! We are free! We have been set free from religious laws, opinions, judgments of others, and the lies of the enemy, because of the unsafe thing Christ did for us on the cross.
No, He is not safe, but He is good!
Father, sometimes You call us to step out into the great unknown. You want to stretch and grow us into the people you created us to be. It can be scary out there. Forgive us for not trusting You. Just like You grew a little shepherd boy into a great king, You want to make us into something great. Help us to trust that the plans You have for our lives are good and we don’t have to be afraid.
About the author: Stacy Sanchez has been married to her beloved husband, John, for 32 years, is a mother of 5, and a very young grandmother of six (soon to be seven) yummy grandcherubs. She is a pastor, author, and speaker. Her passions include teaching Christians about the Jewish roots of their faith, as well as helping to empower women to become all that God has created them to be. When not teaching or writing, you will find Stacy and John walking on the beach and playing with their grandchildren. You can connect with Stacy at her blog, writetotheheart.org, and on Facebook and Instagram.
Join the conversation: What scary thing has God asked you to do?