I like to feel safe. Most people do, I believe. There are so many things that make us feel unsafe. Usually, though, it seems to boil down to the unknown. We don’t know what will happen, fear easily creeps in, and the comfort of safety disappears. How do we feel safe in a world of unknowns?
Not long ago, I read “The Hiding Place” by Corrie Ten Boom. She was a Christian who hid Jewish people during the Holocaust. The Nazi’s caught her, but she survived her time in a concentration camp. The book is her story, and she passes on great wisdom on finding safety.
While reading the second chapter, which spoke of memories from when she was a little girl some decades before Hitler rose to power, she mentioned one particular memory with her father. Her father, a clock and watch repairman, regularly took her on a train to Amsterdam. She enjoyed the time alone with her father, no siblings or extended relatives around.
She was about ten or eleven years old and after reading something in school she didn’t understand, she asked her father about it. What the question was, she didn’t say, but like most kids, she was curious about topics that were well beyond her years. Her question was a hard one, and the answer was equally difficult. The response Corrie’s father gave stayed with her through the rest of her life.
Her father took down his travel case and asked her to carry it off the train for him. When she tried but couldn’t, she told him it was too heavy for her as it was filled with watch parts and clock parts. Here are the following paragraphs.
“Yes,” he said. “And it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It’s the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.”
And I was satisfied. More than satisfied–wonderfully at peace. There were answers to this and all my hard questions–for now I was content to leave them in my father’s keeping.
What a beautiful picture of a father’s love and protection of his daughter. She asked a question in which the answer was beyond her years, more than her young heart could bear. Her father knew that one day the knowledge she sought would be given, but he understood that the particular moment they were in was not the right time.
He explained she would know one day, but at this time, the answer would be too heavy. He asked her to trust him to carry the knowledge that was too much for her to carry on her own until she was strong enough to bear the weight when her maturity caught up with her curiosity. In her childlike wonder, with her innocence still intact, she was at peace leaving the answers to her hard questions safely in her father’s keeping.
God is a perfect Father to us. The glimpse we see in Corrie’s father is a mere reflection of the love and protection our heavenly Father bestows on us. He promises.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:3, ESV
Safe through the unknown…
In everything we want to know, yet remains unknown, God calls us to leave it in His keeping. It’s safe there. When we leave the unknown—whether knowledge sought, but not gained, or a promise that cannot be made, or a situation we don’t know how will play out—safely in our Father’s keeping, we find peace. Even when the unknown remains, we trust and know our Abba safely keeps it for us. Not only does our Father keep the unknown, He keeps us also.
The Lord is your keeper…The Lord will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
Psalm 121:5, 6-7, ESV
God keeps us. Nothing in our lives is unknown to Him. He is not caught off guard or surprised by the circumstances we face, not even once. When we are drowning in questions for which we don’t know the answers, we know God holds us safely in His care, and He holds the unknown answers too. His timing in revealing what we don’t know is perfect as well. We find safety, even in the unknown, as we are kept in our Abba’s protection.
So just as Corrie was content to leave her hard questions with unknown answers safe in her father’s keeping, we contently leave our unknowns and even our very lives safe in our Father’s keeping. After all, there is no safer place to be kept than in the arms of our Father.
What do you need to leave safe in your Father’s keeping?
You are intimately known.
But if anyone loves God, he is known by God. 1 Corinthians 8:3, ESV
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