Meridian Star

Religion

May 31, 2014

From the Shepherd’s Heart

MERIDIAN —     “You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever. I will trust in the shelter of Your wings!" — Psalm 61:3-4

One of the most common discussions we hear is regarding “safety.” Usually, we speak of safety as something we have yet to attain. We seek ways to protect from terrorists, viruses, robbers, cancer, natural disasters, house fires, and a thousand other threats.

    Seeking to be safe, we are constantly trying to find a way to “protect ourselves from the threat.” We think guns, vaccinations, security systems, storm shelters, insurance, and sunscreen are the agents of safety.  

    The problem is that we have developed a mindset of unrelenting threat. We have become afraid of our neighbor, our food, our water, even our own shadow.     The more we “arm ourselves,” the more we look at our world with apprehension and fear.

    Safety is really a mindset. Safety is a feeling of freedom from danger, risk, injury, or harm. Safety can be found by one person when another person in the same situation is freaking out.

    When I was in the first grade, I rode old bus No. 44 to school. I was deathly afraid that the driver did not know where my mother lived and I hated loading on the bus each morning. Other children on the bus did not see what the problem was. Years later, I realize that the threat I felt was unfounded.

    Many threats that we fear never happen. When the terrorists struck on 9/11, our church was full of people who were afraid of the next attack. Everyone was panicked.

    In an effort to lighten the scene I pointed out some facts. I reminded my friends that tonight we sat in the 50th state in the union with number 49 and 48 on either side. I declared, “Tonight there is no safer place in America. If the terrorists attack again, they will shoot over our heads and hit something important somewhere else!”

    For a moment there was laughter, then changed expressions that said, “We may be safe after all.”

    Years ago, my grandmother sat on the front porch of her house and watched a tornado pass by. Neighbors fleeing the storm asked her if she was afraid. Her answer was “no.” She said, “The Good Lord knows who I am and where I live. He will protect me, or He will come and get me! Either way, I am safe.”

    Safety is a feeling. Safety is a confidence that you are sheltered from the things that threaten others. Safety is an assurance that you are insulated from the harmful things that attack. Safety is an expectancy God will never leave you nor forsake you. Safety is in knowing the shelter of the strong arms of the Lord that protect you.

    The Lord is trustworthy. He is there when we call on Him. He is the source of safety we seek.

    Dr. John A. Temple is pastor of Poplar Springs Drive Baptist Church, located at 4032 Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian. Visit the church website online at www. psdbc.org.

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