News is surfacing that two Somali bombers inadvertently took their life in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia while building a bomb presumably to use at the World Cup qualifier on Sunday. With that, the question of safety will certainly be raised once again.
Is it safe for you to go there?
The answer is simple. Yes, because that is what God wants our family to do, and we can look at Jonah to understand the trouble that comes from running from what God is calling us to do. And no, because safety on earth is not something that is promised, and frankly, it doesn’t matter if you are on American soil or Ethiopian. While we often buy into the illusion of safety here as we bind our children in the latest car seats, or continue to add policy to our school’s safety plan, there are no guarantees.
In John 16, the disciples heard from Jesus that the Father would give them whatever they asked they claimed belief, to which Jesus replied: “Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Paul helps us understand what our future is, and why the trouble God calls us to is nothing compared to what is to come. But don’t miss that he expects the suffering. “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18)
Paul is stoned in Lystra, and shortly afterward is “encouraging them (followers of Jesus) to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” (Acts 14:22)
The Scriptures are full of the reality that it is tough to follow Jesus, and trouble often follows those who are living for their King and His Kingdom. Having said that, the prize far outweighs the trouble, and we are honored to follow wherever He calls.