Recently I finished reading through The Chronicles of Narnia with my kids. It is a series of fictional books written by the great Christian author and apologist, C.S. Lewis. I’ve owned my set since I was a kid, and I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read them, even as an adult. Though they were originally written for children, the simple yet fascinating stories are full of Biblical truths and references that perhaps only adults would pick up on; some subtle, others more obvious.
In The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, one of the main characters asks someone if Aslan (the Christ figure) is safe. The answer: “Safe? … Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.” Putting it another way, many times throughout The Chronicles, characters are reminded that Aslan is not a tame lion.
I think one of the biggest stumbling blocks, among believers and non-believers alike, is the fact that God is not ‘safe’ or ‘tame.’ That’s what many people want: a god they can manage or tame, a god who won’t tell them to give up something they want to keep (possessions or habits) and won’t ask them to do something they don’t want to do. Many Christians choose to focus on God’s love, while ignoring His justice or His wrath toward sin. Then there are those who have a hard time understanding how a good God can allow bad things to happen to ‘good’ people, especially when the bad things are the result of the forces of nature, or ‘acts of God.’
But we must remember that God’s ways are often very different from ours (Isaiah 55:8), and God’s perspective is so much bigger than we can understand. Of course God isn’t safe! He has shown throughout the Bible and history that He can cause, or simply allow, all sorts of things to happen that are not safe. But He is good! No matter what happens, God is able to make it work out for good, to those who love God and who follow Him (Romans 8:28).
I believe our worship of God will become richer when we understand and acknowledge that: 1.God isn’t safe, so He deserves our awe and reverence, and 2. God is good, so we can trust Him in all circumstances.