I took a risk recently. I decided to try something new.
And that makes me nervous, because I might get into a place where I’m not in control of how I look to other people. It makes me feel like I might be… exposed. Exposed to be less than what I hoped I am. It’s amazing how I can take something that in reality is incredibly small and imagine it to be such a risk. But we all do, because it’s not really about the choices themselves.
In the end, all of our “risks” are really about giving up our control of keeping ourselves safe.
We protect our image, our finances, our hearts – and often we do it by building walls and drawing lines and boxing ourselves into something far smaller than all God wants to give.
Because deep down, don’t we all know that the greater the risk, the greater the reward?
“But also the greater the pain if it doesn’t work out,” we whisper to ourselves.
And we close our box lid again, hiding from the sun.
But the first time I took that risk, you know what happened? A friend called.
She had been listening to a talk on Peter – Peter, who denied Jesus three times, who let down the one person you never want to let down—and he did it because he was afraid it wasn’t safe. He protected himself because it wasn’t safe to know Jesus right then. And afterward… he was deeply ashamed.
But the next time he meets Jesus? There is no condemnation. Not in his voice, his words, his actions. Jesus smiled, made dinner – created a space where Peter was safe. And then for every denial, Jesus asked him three times, “Peter, do you love me?” And three times let him speak the truth over himself: “Yes Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus didn’t ask him that because he wasn’t convinced. Jesus asked so that Peter would be convinced of who he was and how Jesus saw him – as one who loved him and was perfectly loved. Perfectly safe.
And my dear friend? She retold this short story and said, “I just really felt like that was for you. That Father wanted you to know that in this new thing, he’s creating a really safe place for you.”
I want this to be your phone call. I want you to hear what I heard that night.
Jesus is not the accuser. He does not shame, expose, or condemn.
He is the Healer, the Prince of Peace – the Hiding Place.
You are safe here.
I felt like I needed to write this to you, because of one sentence:
“Some of you have been hurt and abused by those who were supposed to be Watchmen over you.”
That line punched my stomach in church last week. Because to some degree, it’s true of all of us.
Somewhere along the line of growing up, we got hurt, and we stopped believing we were safe. We stopped trusting. Because if our earthly daddy, or friend, or lover wasn’t safe –why would we take an even deeper risk to trust that God loved us?
And we find ourselves in this place: God already won our salvation, but he’s still winning our trust.
And if that’s you… I want you to know, he wants to earn your trust. He’s not afraid to. He’s not asking why you can’t just trust him all the way, right away.
God didn’t expect you to be perfected instantly.
But he did guarantee that you would be perfectly covered in his love constantly.
Someone recently told me, “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.” And she described suffering as this: living in your pain like it’s your identity. God knows where you’ve been hurt. And that’s ok – He’s not impatient. But he is not ok with us living in our hurt. It’s not our identity anymore.
It’s not your identity anymore.
He’s going to keep asking you to take one more step. One step deeper. One promise further. One risk closer to realizing how completely you can trust his love.
But he is also making you a promise – you’ll never leave the Hiding Place.
Does being safe really mean never taking any risks?
Or could it mean being loved so deeply that you could risk everything and find yourself more and more loved every time you turn around?