Enjoy this devotional from FlourishWriters student Carlie Lake
My legs wanted to run, but there was nowhere to go. As I peered over the edge of the dinghy, I could feel the fear surging up in me.
They told me it was the best fishing spot, but all I could see was the wreck down below. There it lay, silent yet menacing, a constant reminder that someone before me had failed to sense the danger of this deceivingly calm spot. As an innately fearful child, who still couldn’t swim, sitting in a tiny vessel in the middle of the deep, untamed ocean was hardly my favorite place to be.
Although my insides screamed, “Get me out of here,” I took a deep breath, gripped the seat tightly, and tried my best to remain calm.
Perhaps because I knew I could potentially fall overboard, sink to the depths of the sea and be lost forever (and yes that’s exactly how I imagined it), I also knew that my dad and older brother would do anything to protect me. Their very presence, right next to me in the boat, made me feel safe.
Safe in the presence of danger.
What makes you feel safe?
I’ve been thinking a lot about safety recently. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been touched by unexpected searing loss and change, while desperately needing to flee. Maybe it’s watching the news or reading the headlines in a world that seems intent on self-destruction. It could be feeling helpless in the spate of natural disasters that seem to be stalking us. Or simply, it’s the mom instinct in me that knows no limits when it comes to keeping my children safe.
Or perhaps it’s a combination of all. Whatever it may be, it has brought safety front and center in my mind.
As I reminisce on those childhood fishing trips, I’m reminded that we get to choose which ‘fishermen’ we could have in the boat with us. You know those persons (places, things or ideas) that we surround ourselves with that may not cancel out the danger, but somehow make us feel safe.
We get to choose them.
Maybe, for you, it’s the well-paying job, the two-story home in the nice neighborhood, the lump sum in the bank, and the retirement plan that help you sleep at night. Maybe it’s the car you drive and the friends you keep. Or it’s the idea that if you work hard and plan well you should get by without too much of a scrape. Perhaps it’s a clean bill of health on your last medical check-up. Or your skill set along with the decisions you make that, in your opinion, set you apart from other people. Or maybe it’s just your pattern of normal, the predictability of the usual, that makes you feel safe.
We each have our own unique combination—a precarious balance between the pursuit of safety and the presence of danger.
But sometimes, without even realizing it, safety becomes an idol in our lives. We fall prey to its sweet seduction. It’s as if we’d rather have safe than have God.
So, my friend, I pause now and ask you, “Which fishermen have you chosen? Who or what do you pursue with your whole being in your unending quest for safe?”
Just like in my childhood fishing trips, I know the choice matters. Choosing my dad and brother, both experienced fishermen with the desire, ability, and skill to protect me, was a wise choice. Choosing my sister, one even more terrified of the boat wreck than I was, and without the skill or ability to save me, would have been a very foolish choice.
I’m looking intently at all my foolish choices right now, and I’m rediscovering the only wise choice.You see, despite all the chaos surrounding me, I just can’t shake this feeling that there’s only one Fisherman that can keep me safe—my Father in heaven.
That is the anchor of truth that keeps me safe in the presence of ubiquitous danger.
It’s a hope I wish to share because I know that I’m not the only one who’s in a desperate search for safety.
So, I’m leaving you with a few Bible verses that I’ve been meditating on, verses that remind me of God’s plan for my eternal safety. Verses that steady the boat, calm the seas, and replenish my hope with the promise of a heavenly shore.
I pray these reassuring verses will help to steer us as we choose which fisherman sits in the boat with us and that our choice will be one that ensures our eternal safety.
“Salvation is found in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12 NIV)
“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” (Proverbs 29:25 NIV)
“The name of the Lord is a fortified tower, the righteous run to it and are safe.” (Proverbs 18:10 NIV)
“The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (2 Timothy 4:18 NIV)
What about you? What makes you feel safe? Has safety become an idol in your life? Are you trusting in Christ alone for your eternal safety?
Carla (aka Carlie) Lake is a wife of 28 years to a kind and generous man, a mom to two undeserved blessings, and a daughter, sister, friend to an incredibly loyal and supportive gang. She often finds herself in awe of God and prays to always live amazed at His goodness. Through her passion for writing about God’s promises, Carla hopes to spread the aroma of the knowledge of Christ from her little corner of the Caribbean. She is the author of the devotional ‘Live Amazed – Embracing the Gifts of God in Longing, Loss, and Life’. You can connect with her on her blog: ‘From Dust Towards the Heavens’ at https://www.lcasvi.blogspot.com