Red Pandas look really cute. They’re quite small (unlike the black-and-white pandas) and have two strategies for safety. One is to stand upright and stretch their front paws up to make themselves look as big as possible. (If anything, they just look cuter!)
Strategy 2 is to climb a tree.
This one sat up high, looked at the zoo visitors, and stuck his lil’ pink tongue out. Perfect timing… He wasn’t at any risk, but there were several nosey visitors with cameras- inclding me. Nyerrr! CLICK. Gotcha.
Feeling safe has been rare recently, a luxury not everyone has enjoyed during the pandemic. Such a dangerously transmissible virus. I’ve been one who has shielded because I am officially at “higher risk” with background health conditions. Jabbed, vaxxed and boosted- and grateful to have the help of medicine. People I know have died, lost loved ones, struggled with stress and lockdown worry. Has my faith been a help? Yes- not because I’m “more protected than unbelievers,” an attitude which seems to think that God is VERY angry. But because God is loving, compassionate, and faithful. I’m safe in God’s lovingkindness (whether I catch the virus or not).
That’s what God is like. Loving kindness. Yes, there are big issues and other questions: holiness, being separated from such a Holy God, forgiveness, reconciliation, and stuff.
But today I want to lay one foundation stone, not build a whole castle. A foundation of love, a promise of safety, so we can face every new day with hope and confidence. Even… JOY. God loves us, and wants to be reconciled in every way: to enjoy our company, to be part of the household, the tribe, citizens of the Eternal Kingdom. Read, ponder, and be thankful we are loved!
Psalm 46 v1-4 says this: “God is our shelter and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not be afraid, even if the earth is shaken and mountains fall into the ocean depths; even if the seas roar and rage, and the hills are shaken by the violence. There is a river that brings joy to the city of God, to the sacred house of the Most High.”