They were willing to do whatever it took to get their brother, Edmund, back from the hands of the White Witch. Peter, Susan, and Lucy needed a rescuer greater than Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, though the Beavers were certainly willing to play their part. Thankfully (and providentially) Aslan was on the move, as described in C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Who was this Aslan? What was he like? Could he actually help? Finally, it was Lucy who asked the question they were all thinking. "Is--is he a man?" Oh, how this caught Mr. Beaver by surprise.
"Aslan a man! Certainly not. 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."
"That you will, dearie, and make no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver; "if there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly."
"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy.
"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."
"I'm longing to see him," said Peter, "even if I do feel frightened when it comes to the point."
Late last fall, Brooke and I began this journey not knowing where it might lead us. Early in the summer of 2015, my step-mom was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. Later in the year, my grandparents battled multiple health issues that had our family concerned. All the while, Henry's closest set of grandparents live nearly 700 miles away. More than ever, I have a growing desire (and, I believe, a responsibility) to minister to my family. The combination of these things caused us to consider a move closer to family.
As we consider this next stage of life, we're flooded with emotions. Sadness that we're uprooting our life and moving away from friends, excitement for new relationships to be built and opportunities ahead, and fear for the unknown that is in front of us. All the while, I want to keep asking the question, "Is it safe?" Lucy and I are asking the wrong question.
An Idol-Crushing Move
This move, at its core, is an idol crusher for me. I love and crave comfort. I enjoy the "knowns" of life. More than almost anyone I know, I am a creature of habit. I function best within a solid structure, a routine schedule, and the absence of surprises. I drive Brooke crazy nearly every vacation we take because I try to plan our every meal, excursion, and Red Box movie. I get it. I'm the weird one.
For our entire married life, Elizabethtown, KY and Severns Valley have been our home. This will forever be the place where we purchased our first home, gave birth to our first child, and first served in the local church together. It's a place we've grown to love. We have become extremely comfortable here, forming deep friendships that previously made moving unthinkable.
So God has orchestrated a move to a young church (which I'll discuss in greater detail in our next blog post) that will require us to raise our own support and fully trust him with our future plans.
What will life look like at the end of my yearlong residency?
Will we connect well with the team?
Will we raise all the support required to live in Norman?
How will all of the minor details get taken care of?
I can't help but think of Moses in Exodus 33. He's speaking with God who just told him, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exod 33:14) And how does Moses respond? “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” (Exod 33:15-16)
Am I missing something? God just told him he'd go with him. He just gave him his marching orders. Is Moses hard of hearing? Rather than rebuking him, God is patient toward Moses. The LORD gives Moses a sweet reminder, "This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name." (Exodus 33:17)
In those moments when I question whether or not God's presence is with us, whether or not I'm leading my family into a crazy season of life, whether or not, ultimately, this is a "safe" move, God is gently and sweetly whispering: I know you by name. I hear him saying to us, "Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3:2-4)
Like Peter Pevensie, I'm longing to see the King, even if I do feel frightened when it comes to the point. Why? Well, I'm not so sure it's because he's safe. "Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King, I tell you."
And for this next season of life, the goodness of the King is all we need.