Where are you when you feel most safe? Or perhaps—who are you with?
What about that place, that person, feels safe?
If you’re like me, what comes to mind is not a cave or a bunker. It might be a place more like home.
Maybe it’s that person who makes you feel like you just kicked off a pair of uncomfortable shoes after a long day, and slipped into your sweats, then onto the sofa with a cozy drink. It could be their strength. Their steadiness. Their acceptance; that atmosphere of grace. They’re the person you call to weep with and talk over your bad news; the person who triumphs with you in your good news. They say, you can run to me.
I write this post approximately 29 miles from the Cheyenne Mountain Complex—a nuclear bunker built under 2000 feet of granite, inside Cheyenne Mountain. It aims to be prepared for “medical emergencies, natural disasters, civil disorder, a conventional attack, an electromagnetic pulse attack, a cyber or information attack, chemical or biological or radiological attack…or a general nuclear attack.” The blast door weighs 25 tons. CNET reports,
“There are also a network of blast valves set up to ensure safe air, redundant power generators on top of a huge battery bank, a massive diesel fuel reservoir, a 4.5 million gallon reservoir of water…a system of giant springs designed to allow the 15 three-story buildings inside the mountain to shift up to an inch in any direction in case of an explosion or earthquake…”
In essence, the complex is a small city. Six hundred people work there, and as such, there’s a medical center, a small store, a cafeteria, and more.
It is a mighty fortress. It is one of the safest places on earth. Well—the safest locations, anyway.
And yet, Cheyenne Mountain Complex has nothing on my God. He brings a whole new meaning to a Mighty Fortress.
Years ago, someone questioned my parents about their decision to allow my sister to go to a dangerous section of Israel on a mission trip. She is safest in the middle of God’s will, they said. If it’s God’s will for her to die, she could die here in Little Rock.
Of course we’re not cavalier with the gift of life. But I think they landed on something. I am not safest in the bunkers of Cheyenne Mountain. I am not “safe” when nothing can happen to my children, or the election results turn out the way I am begging God they do. I am not safe if everyone approves of me, or if my salary contains enough zeros. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
What is that thing—those chariots and horses—promising to keep you secure?
Based on Psalm 46, Martin Luther penned the lyrics above twelve years after posting his 95 Theses, as the Protestant Reformation swelled and threatened to overturn Europe. Some believe this hymn was sung as Luther and his compatriots entered the damning church council.
This week, as our minds flit to our anxieties, insecurities, and flat-out fears, may we run to our only true Safe Place. For if He is for us, who can be against us?
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah [pause; think on this].
Psalm 46:1-2a, 7