In The Silver Chair, one of the Narnia Chronicles by C. S. Lewis, Jill is thirsty. She hears the noise of a stream and finds it, only to see a great lion standing there. She waits to see if he will go away, but he doesn’t. Finally they have a conversation; she asks if he will move, or if there is another stream, and “no” answers both questions. She asks if he is quite safe, again a “no.” But she must drink or die.
In other books in the series, Lewis makes it clear that the lion Aslan, a Christ figure, is certainly not a tame lion, not “safe”; but he is good.
In Pilgrim’s Progress, so our pastor said yesterday, Christian comes to a difficult climb where other men are rushing down in his direction. They tell him he must turn back, because there are lions ahead. But he knows that the Celestial City is also ahead; he must choose between certain death (not reaching the city) on one hand, or the fear of death but life beyond on the other hand.
Steve Green has a song called “Living Dangerously in the Hands of God.”
Habakkuk says, “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior” (Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV).
In the book of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego say to the king, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18 NIV).
Job says, “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him…” (Job 13:15 NIV).
Peter says, “‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life'” (John 6:68 NIV).
Will I choose safety over goodness? Is it more important to me to have enough to eat, stay healthy, manage to tune the dulcimer, be free of allergies and anxiety, or to know the living God? Yeah… I’d like to have it all… but when and if the safe things conflict with the living things, may I choose life, dangerous as it may be, trusting in the goodness of the living God.