He is not safe… but He is good.
The way those words encapsulate the mystery of God’s love is so powerful to me.
“Safe” means that God is not little, timid, cautious, or shy like a sheep. He is never going to take the easy way. He didn’t tell His disciples “take up your toothpick and follow me.” It’s a cross. A cross we’re invited (not forced) to pick up. The cross is anything but safe.
but is transformative. The love of the savior is not safe because He will not let us stay where we are at, He invites us to ever more.
It’s tempting to want to take the easy way, the safe way and the way of comfort. But often that leads in a creating a world for ourselves that is steeped in the evil and darkness of sin. Ourheart freezes over — a winter inside because we haveshut out the warming love of God.
Embracing the crosses in my life is always where I’ve found the most freedom. It is a place of contradictions. Not safe… but good. It hurts… but it heals. There is pain… but there is resurrection. His love brings me closer to His heart, but it pushes me to places where I can grow. And it is all so good.
Freedom and free will. These two concepts can be tricky to navigate. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t the same. Free will means that we can do whatever we want to do, whenever we want to do it, but actual freedom… that looks a little bit different.
Check what Jesus says on the subject – John 8 around verse 31. Jesus tells His followers that if they remain in His word, they will know the truth and the truth will set them free (oh, and He calls Himself the Truth a bit later [John 14:6]). They don’t really get it, because they’ve never been enslaved – not like their ancestors who were slaves in Egypt, at least. But Christ tells them that anyone who sins becomes a slave of sin.
I’ve got good news and bad news. Want the bad news first? We’re all sinners. We all mess up and do really stupid stuff that separates us from God and other people.
But here’s the good news – Christ came to set us all free. And if we follow His commands, we can have real freedom.
St. John Paul II defined authentic freedom in Christ as having the right to do what we ought. Jesus doesn’t want to take away our freedom. He came to save us from sin and death. His death saved us from death, and now through Him we can live life to the fullest. And when we use our free will to do what we ought, in line with Christ’s teachings, we can experience real freedom.
The rules exist for a reason – they’re for our own good and for our benefit. We cannot escape the reality that every action has consequences.
There’s nothing to fear when we take up the cross with Christ.No one loves you more than He, the one who breathed life into your soul, the one that gave you that authentic freedom, freedom of the mind and heart to truly know yourself through Him.
I’ve learned that the love of God looks like the cross, not the safe, easy way, but the way of transformation, goodness, and freedom.
Today, let’s choose to be inspired by the lives of the saints- not for their deeds, but for their desire for holiness.
Happy Feast of All Saints!
Fabiola Navichoque – Writer, unparalleld love