Whatever it is that you are carrying today, cry out in assured victory: it is finished! It is redeemed for infinite good.
I don’t like scary movies. I was too afraid to go to the bathroom by myself after watching Twilight. Ernest Scared Stupid kept me up at night as a child (hey- a teenager is still a child). How normal, well-adjusted people could adore Army of Darkness or any movie in that genre was a mystery to me for many years.
My husband, on the other hand, values watching scary, age-appropriate movies with our kids. I was pretty sure they would be up for weeks (and I would have to deal with both the emotional night times and the over-tired days), but I reluctantly chose to trust him. And as I’ve seen him watch scary films with our kids, I’ve gotten a little more insight into what those types of movies offer. Watching them gives you a chance to feel all the rush of being scared without actually being in any danger. They teach you to have power over your fear. They let you be Safe Scared.
That’s what we get from a lot of movies, books, and art, isn’t it? A chance to feel emotions and learn to deal with them in a safe, vicarious environment. Romances let us experience the rush of love without any of the risk of vulnerability. We can feel the adrenaline of an action movie or the bravery of an adventure without actually putting our lives on the line. We can walk away and feel our emotions calming down (and therefore learn to calm our emotions). Nothing that ultimately matters is ever threatened. It’s all safe.
As our restrictions due to COVID tightened up again, I have felt pretty scared. Scared for myself, for my children, for my community. The uncertainty, the inconvenience, the grief, the things we will never get back even after the world starts to recover plague my mind and heart. The danger feels very close and very real as more of my friends and acquaintances test positive.
As I’ve been talking with God about it, He’s said, “Babe, this is really Safe Scared.”
Come on. I’m gonna need more than that.
He’s reminded me that this life is a tiny blip compared to what lies ahead in eternity. While the threat towards life and community is very real, the ultimate danger has been taken care of. I have peace with God through Christ’s work on the cross. Therein lies my safety. Because I have that, because I have that relationship that impacts eternity, I am safe even in this dangerous season.
Psalm 23:4 reminds us,
“Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.”
This time of pandemic is dark. There are dangers and threats that we are walking through. And yet I can remind my fearful heart that I am safe. Because Christ is with me. He provides my safety in ways my most careful planning cannot.
Now, God’s presence doesn’t keep me safe FROM COVID. I’m going to follow the safety guidelines laid out for me by those who know more than I, and even then it may still impact me in ways I am desperate to avoid. But it does keep me safe IN COVID. Focusing on the peace I have with God, the comfort I have in his presence, helps me handle the feelings of danger, chaos, and lack of control.
It reminds me that through this horror, I am safe in the arms of Jesus.
This is Safe Scared.