Monday, 6 November 2017

When You Are in a Desperate Search for Safety

As I peered over the edge of the dinghy, I could feel the fear surging up in me.

It was the best fishing spot they told me, but all I could see was the wreck way down below. There it lay, silent yet menacing, a constant reminder that someone before me had failed to sense the danger of this deceivingly calm spot. As an innately fearful child, who still could not swim, sitting in a tiny vessel in the middle of the deep untamed ocean was hardly my favorite place to be.

But, although my insides screamed ‘get me out of here’, I took a deep breath, held on tightly to the seat and tried my best to remain calm.

Perhaps because I knew that even though I could potentially fall overboard, sink to the depths of the sea and be lost forever (and yes that’s exactly how I imagined it), I also knew that my dad or older brother would do anything to protect me. Their very presence in the boat… right next to me made me feel safe.

Safe in the presence of danger.

What makes you feel safe?

I’ve been thinking a lot about safety recently.

Perhaps it’s having been touched by unexpected and searing loss and change and feeling the need to run. Perhaps it’s just watching the news or reading the headlines in a world that seems intent on self-destruction. Perhaps it’s feeling helpless in the spate of natural disasters that seems to be stalking us. Perhaps it’s the mom instinct in me that knows no limits when it comes to keeping my children safe. 

Or perhaps it’s a combination of all.

Whatever it may be, it has brought safety front and center in my mind, and as I reminisce on those childhood fishing trips, I’m reminded that we get to choose which ‘fishermen’ we have in the boat with us. You know those persons (places, things or ideas) that we surround ourselves with… that may not necessarily cancel out the danger but that make us feel safe. 

We get to choose them.

Maybe, for you, it’s the well-paying job, the nice neighborhood and the two-story home, the lump sum in the bank and the retirement plan that help you sleep at night. Maybe it’s the car you drive and the friends you keep, or the idea that if you work hard and plan well you should get by without too much of a scrape. Maybe it's a clean bill of health on your last medical check-up. Maybe it’s your skill set and the decisions you make that in your opinion set you apart from ‘other’ people. Or maybe it’s just 'your' pattern of normal – the predictability of the usual - that makes you feel safe.  

Each of us have our own unique combination - a precarious balance of the pursuit of safety in the presence of danger.

But sometimes… just sometimes so drawn are we to safe that without even realizing it safety becomes an idol in our lives.  We fall prey to its sweet seduction.  It’s as if we’d rather have safe than have God.

So, my friend, I pause now to ask you, which fishermen have you chosen? Who or what do you pursue with your whole being in your unending quest for safe?

Just like in my childhood fishing trips I know the choice matters. Choosing my dad and brother, both experienced fishermen with the desire, ability and skill to protect me, was a wise choice. Choosing my sister, one even more terrified of the wreck than me, with neither the skill or the ability to save me would have been a very foolish choice.

I’m looking intently at all my foolish choices right now and I’m rediscovering the only wise choice.

You see, despite all the chaos surrounding me, I just can’t shake this feeling that I have -

'There’s only one Fisherman that can really keep me safe- my Father in heaven'. 

It’s an anchor of truth that keeps me safe in the presence of ubiquitous danger.  

It’s a hope I wish to share, because I know that I’m not the only one… not the only one in a desperate search for safe.  

So, I’m leaving you with a few key verses that I’ve been meditating on. Verses that remind me of God’s plan for my eternal safety. Verses that sprout like green leaves after the storm, and replenish my hope with the promise of life.

I pray that these refreshing verses will help to steer us as we choose which fisherman sits in the boat with us, and that our choice will be one that ensures our eternal safety.




Salvation is found in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe. Proverbs 29:25

The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 2 Timothy 4: 18

I Have This Hope - Tenth Avenue North


  1. Yep, going with me would not have been a safe choice at all -- I was literally terrified of those fishing trips! Lol
    I'm so glad we have a safe Fisherman to turn to instead.
    Love you, Carl and I'm so glad your words are making their way back to this space. You were missed!

    1. Yes, Marv, I remember that well, but look at how fearless you are now. Must be you have chosen well. :) Thanks, my sister, for the continual encouragement! Love you too!

  2. Love that Fisherman! So grateful for His safety.

    1. Me too, Becky, me too! Thanks for visiting today!

  3. Beautiful analogy, I love the thought of Jesus being next to me and ready to grab me should I fall over the edge. I feel safe in the presence of the Lord.

    1. Thank you, Debra! Isn't it amazing that He is able to keep us without falling. I love how he keeps us safe for all time.

  4. Carlie,

    It is so good to be back here this week with you ♥ Your words are always ones that challenge, comfort, and encourage me. You and your sister are such a gift to me and a gift to all. Your courage and faith an inspiration! May we all choose the right fisherman to be in the boat with us! There is only one who can or will prevail no matter the storm.

    Blessings, smiles, and HUGS,

    1. Awwww, thanks, Lori! You're so sweet. Happily accepting your blessings, smiles and hugs!:)


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