Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- September 17, 2011
“Your brother has come,” he replied, “and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.” Luke 15:27
Our soul seeks out safe environments. We are attracted to people we can trust, who accept us for who we are instead of who we need to be. Safe environments give us security and peace. We can bare our souls because we know we are in a place of confidentiality, and do not fear rejection. A business meeting with a rigid agenda, pretense, and pride is not a safe place in which to be yourself.
Those who foster safe environments seek first to understand, and there is no rush to judgment, but there is a rash of love. In safe environments, we’re still loved, especially when we are unlovely. Parents have the privilege of providing a safe environment for their teenagers transitioning into young adulthood. This can be a trying time for everyone, as your children are not babies anymore, so they do not want to be babied and controlled.
By God’s grace, you have trained them for such a time as this. This is your teenager’s time of transition into maturity and he or she may have to make a bad relational decision in the process. This is how he or she grows and learns. Therefore, as parents, it is imperative you keep the home environment safe and non-combative. Continue to speak the truth in love, but do so graciously with great patience and after much prayer. If your teenager doesn’t feel safe at home, they will find safety and acceptance somewhere else; so create attractive environments.
Safe environments are also necessary for Christ-seekers. People in a search for authentic faith need someplace to ask questions without being rebuffed for their elementary inquires. More mature believers have the opportunity to be there for those on their faith journey, but becoming judgmental is ruinous to safe environments, as it crushes with condescending attitudes. So, be careful not to impose your high standards on a person or situation, and in the process endanger the safe environment. Share your own failures and struggles, as this builds bridges to the heart. Safe environments are void of pedestals of pride. Consider a Bible discussion in your home, and follow it up with a fun activity. Make Christianity attractive, not boring. Safe environments draw people to Christ.
Above all else, seek out a safe environment with your Savior. Your Lord longs to linger with you. He deeply desires to listen to your dreams and fears. In your safe place with Jesus, you are loved completely. Your heavenly Father feels your pain. In your safe place with Him, you are positioned to receive His love and blessings. Your safe environment with God may be early in the morning with a cup of coffee, the Bible, and your journal. It may be late at night before your head hits the pillow and begins its silent reflections. It may be on your lunch break in the shadowy sanctuary of a tree. It may be a walk in the woods, a jog on a treadmill, or a run across a maze of sidewalks. It may be a quiet occasion in the mountains or an engagement with eternity at the beach.
God gives you safe environments for your soul’s refreshment. It is there you can cry, laugh, complain, thank, create, give, listen, and ask. Christ celebrates when you go to Him, and receives you just as you are, needy for love and acceptance. Safe environments are necessary for communication and trust. Therefore, create and enjoy safe places, and go there often for your sake and the sake of those you love.
The Bible says, “You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety” (Job 11:18).
Taken from the September 16th reading in the 365-day devotional book, Seeking Daily the Heart of God
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