Friday, March 16, 2012

Is It Safe?

I get asked every time we go to Israel if it is safe.  My standard answer is that I feel safer in Israel than I do walking in downtown Buffalo.  I've been reflecting on why we have fears.  We suburbanites know there are parts of Buffalo we will not go to at night because it is not safe.  There are murders, gang activity and drug deals going on there.  Yet we remain living here nearby those areas. Why?  Because we know how to function here.  We are familiar with things here.  We know the language here.  We have history here.  So even though there are unsafe things near us here, we are confident living and traveling here.

As you see in the picture above, Israel knows their neighborhood.  There are tensions there just as their are in Buffalo.  Therefore they have trained security and systems in place to create a secure environment.  The picture is a checkpoint between Israel proper and the Palestinian Authority controlled area near Jericho in the West Bank.  It is there for protection and control if someone tries to cause any conflict.  These sights don't bring me fear but rather peace. 

I realized there is a deeper parallel here.  I know some folks who are hesitant to commit to Christ.  Or they want to believe and trust but when you discuss terms like "dying to self" or turning "control of your life" over to Jesus they balk.  Why?  They know how to function where they have control.  They know the language.  They feel safe in that environment.  And to think of launching out into a new way of life that is unfamiliar to them feels "unsafe."  The unknown creates an automatic resistance in us. Those of us who have taken the step of faith find it hard to understand.  If they only would come and see they would know the depths of the love of God, the power of God and the security of knowing and following the Lord.  But fear holds them back.  It is a matter of trust in the promises of God and the testimony of others.

To all my friends who have thought of traveling to Israel but have hesitated because of fear, I give testimony that it is just as safe as living near a major city.  Could something happen to you here at home, a car jacking or worse?  Sure.  Could something happen there?  Sure.  Security is in place and standing ready to guard and protect you.  You will be just as safe or safer.  But the benefits of experiencing the land of promise are amazing.

To all my friends who are hesitant to take the step of faith to trust the promises of God, I give testimony that He is trustworthy and has a transformed life waiting for you, free from fear.  He only wants you to experience life the way He created it to be, full of good things for you and glory for Him.

Why not take that step of faith today??

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