The Titanic was declared to be "unsinkable" and went down on its maiden voyage with the loss of 1,500 souls to become the greatest maritime disaster in history. Our technological genius enabled us to flirt with the space outside our immediate Earth environment, but the explosion of Challenger reminded us that our human genius is marred by our human imperfection.
We fight wars to end war — only to fight again. In the meanwhile, the people of Darfur die as if they were of no value to a world that knows their fate. ISIS murders and boasts of its cruelty via YouTube. So al Qaeda one-ups ISIS with the horrific events in Paris. Among other things, je suis Charlie! means that everyone who values personal freedom is in danger from closed-minded fanatics.
Thus we are all left to ponder our susceptibility to harm. We ask questions about how we should react to evil. And we wonder if there is any safe place at all.
There are places in every major city in America with yellow "Safe Place" signs featured prominently near their doors. Fire stations, police stations, public buildings of various types — the logo of a child surrounded by huge protective hands sends a signal. Any child who feels threatened, one who has been hurt in a bicycle accident, a boy or girl who senses a need for protection from harm of any sort — all that child has to do is go through the doors of a "Safe Place" location and report her fear. The sign is a pledge that someone will help.
But where do you and I go when we are afraid? Where is our security against the threats to our safety in the cosmos? Here was David's answer after a terrible crisis he had survived:
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.In the language of his own time and place, David acknowledged that "many troubles" face us. Faith is not an escape hatch from reality! But his confidence is that the one safe place in our experience is God himself.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
The righteous person faces many troubles,
but the Lord comes to the rescue each time (Psalm 34:17-19).