Its 2:31 a.m.
My body wants to sleep, but my mosquito bites are itching and my mind is full. All weekend, I have been surrounded by friends concerned for my safety. Between riding my bicycle to and from school, taking public transportation, and generally jumping into Tanzanian culture with both feet, there are certain risks. As I was walking home from church tonight in the quickly fading dusk, each of these conversations flashed back to me. Walking home at night was not planned or even anticipated, but it happened.
Am I wrong to trust God to protect me?
Is it unwise to take measured risks?
At what point do I stop living and only think about the safety of my life?
At what point does this living cross into foolishness?
I am by no means criticizing those who are more safety-conscious than myself. I am not even saying that the choices I’ve made are wise. But in the dim light of the fading day, I walked fearlessly, conscious only of a God who stands as my rear guard and who goes before me. The words of Psalm 91 gave light to my steps and peace to my soul:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
the Most High, who is my refuge—
no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
no plague come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Perhaps it is foolish, but I firmly believe that God has ordained for each of us a day, and that when it is that day, despite any number of safety precautions I might take, He will bring me home to Him. And until that day, I will be here on earth, perhaps not unbroken, but here, under His sovereign hand.
*This is not an established theology by any means, so if anyone has comments or thoughts, I’d love to hear what you think and why.