Who amongst us would have saved the world by dying on a cross? And not
saved us in sensible fashion, making everything clear and easy and genuinely
safe? But rather saved us by giving us the choice to become like God through
accepting something that isn't at all clear or easy or safe (at least not our
definition of safe which includes not scary), accepting the cross? Who amongst
us wants the cross? Who believes it actually does save? Isn't that one of the
hardest things to believe?
I've had a very rough twenty-four hours (starting with not wanting to go to sleep because I didn't want it to be dark and quiet enough for me to think) which are the result of a rather rough week. I won't go into details but suffice it to say that God's idea for how the universe ought to be run is not matching up with my idea. I told Him so this morning, in a manner that probably isn't suitable for addressing the King of Kings. Instead of smiting me off the face of the earth God brought the above paragraph to the forefront of my mind, reminding me what kind of safety He promised me when I chose to believe in Him.
I wanted (okay, want, present tense) to reply to that with, "Ah, this is obviously some strange usage of the word safe that I wasn't previously aware of."*
If I did, I wouldn't be wrong. (At least not factually, though there's something wrong with getting snarky with God.) The Cross redefined a lot of things. The Cross, in fact, transformed everything about the world. The Cross is the foolishness of God which is wiser than human wisdom.
God never promised me that life would go the way I wanted. He never promised that I'd be safe. Life isn't safe. It's the price of living in occupied territory. If we're going to take the risk of love we're going to take the risk of attack by the enemy. I knew that, dimly, when I first chose to believe in God. I've been learning it more clearly in the last few years, most especially one day a few months ago when a certain choice was presented to me in this way: Are you willing to take the risk? I was, and am, but that doesn't mean it's going to be easy. It doesn't mean I'm not going to get scared.
The only safety God provides for us is the safety to stand with the Cross at our backs, facing the enemy and all his minions (including Fear, and Despair) with the knowledge that they cannot win in the end.
*Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy