“Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.”
“Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…
“Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
These words from C.S. Lewis may be my favorite literary quote of all time. It gives me chills every time I read it. The God we serve is King over all. Not just any king, but a good king. However, though He is good, He is not safe.
He doesn’t promise us comfortable lives.
He doesn’t give us everything we want.
He doesn’t keep us within our comfort zone.
He doesn’t shelter us from experiencing the brokenness of the world.
Instead, He is good.
He promises to be with us always, even when it’s uncomfortable.
He calls us to die ourselves so that we might have new life.
He gives us His Spirit to guide us and empower us for His kingdom.
He promises to be good and work good through all things – even that which is painful.
Is that not incredible? I don’t know about you, but I’d rather follow a Warrior King who carries the flag of unchanging goodness as He leads me onto the battlefield than a Couch Potato King who lets me sit comfortably while refilling my bag of deadly junk food for the rest of my life.
He. Is. Good.
He is Still Good
My bff gave me an amazing devotional for my birthday called Gracelaced: Discovering Timeless Truths Through Seasons of the Heart by Ruth Chou Simons (not Graceland as I always call it). It’s amazing. I am not an artist, but Simons’ artwork in this book is breathtaking, perfectly illustrating the timeless truths.
The other day, I went through one devotional in the book called “Sufficient”. Simons uses 2 Corinthians 12:9 to prompt discussion on God’s sufficiency in all things, including the thorns He chooses not to remove so that we can beyond “the rose we long to beyond, just beyond the thorn” (p. 28). There’s a lot of profound stuff in these few pages, but I have been particularly struck by the concluding words:
AND IF NOT HE IS STILL GOOD.
The Scary Road to Publishing
This whole publishing journey is scary, let me tell you. A friend asked me today, “Don’t you just feel like you’re putting your whole heart and soul out on the table?” Yes. Yes I do. It’s terrifying to hand 5 years of prayer, reflection, inspiration, writing, and editing – the fruit of my own walk with Jesus and my experiences in this world – to someone else to critique and possibly reject. It was hard enough to let my best friend and close family members read it, much less submit proposals to literary agents and (hopefully if I get represented) publishers.
Writing the book was the easy part, comparatively. If I’m honest, some days I don’t want to do it. Pursuing publishing demands much more of me on many levels. I just want to keep writing for me, maybe sharing with friends and family. I don’t want to be critiqued. I don’t want to be rejected.
But then He asks me, “Did I call you to write this for nothing? Are you willing to trust me, no matter what?” and I’m reminded of Mr. Beaver’s words in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: of course He’s not safe. But He’s good. Because He’s good, I will pursue publishing until the road runs out. Because He is still good I will self-publish if traditional publishers reject it. Because He is yet still good I will take whatever rejection and criticism that come my way and say, “All for you, Jesus. Use it as You will.”
Now friends, hear me say, I recognize there are far scarier things to face than not getting published. I talked with a friend today whose family disowned her for following Jesus. I’m not saying that my publishing journey is comparable to suffering or persecution for Christ. It’s not, but that doesn’t matter – because regardless of whether our “unsafe” is big or little compared to someone else’s, the truth is the same.
I am saying that no matter what circumstances you find yourself in, no matter what steps of faith He is asking you to take, no matter what fears stand between you and the things He has made and called you to do, no matter how scary and untried the planks you’re putting your next foot forward on, remember that He is good.
He isn’t safe, but He’s good. And if not [fill in your own blank], He is still good.
What is God asking you to do that steps beyond your comfort zone? How have you seen God’s goodness in the midst of it? For further reflection, read Psalm 27.
Photo is from p. 31 of Gracelaced by Ruth Chou Simons.