One of the ladies I babysit for asked me if I could watch her kids last week. I had been dying to watch her kids again but I had to turn her down because I was going to be on a missions trip in Tijuana, Mexico. When she heard where I was going, she replied “Be safe!” While I know this seems like I’m over-analyzing, something about that comment got under my skin.
As a missionary kid, I have been around a lot of people who lived and worked in situations the rest of the world deemed “unsafe,” so I suppose that’s why I even thought about it at all. I totally understand that we need to be wise about where we go, but just because a place isn’t rosy through and through, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go there. The darker the room, the more light needed, right?
There are people who have no choice but to live there and they need to hear that Jesus love them and wants to take care of them. And if I’m willing to go tell other people that good news, I should be willing to trust God to take care of me wherever He calls me to go. I never once felt threatened in a place that is looked down upon as a death trap. It’s all about perspective, with wisdom and proper caution as well.
Even in a trash dump full of drug lords where a boy had been shot less than an hour before, I felt nothing but safe. Safety is relative. I’m safe when I’m where The Lord wants me to be. If that’s in Tijuana or the Middle East or in closed countries in East Asia, so be it. I praise The Lord that I’ve learned early on that we are not in control of our surroundings, only our reaction to His call. So while I know people who tell me to be safe mean well, I tuck it safely in the box of advice I don’t obsess over. God knows, God sees, and I trust that His will for my safety will prevail.