“A man’s got to know his limitations…” Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry.
With all that is going on in the country and the world, it is no wonder that most people, myself included, have become more concerned about personal safety. This is especially true, perhaps, for those of us who have been blessed to spend most of lives in relatively safety and security. I have. Perhaps you have as well.
As someone who spends most of his days solving problems, my first step with any perceived problem is usually to attempt to identify that problem and then craft a solution that is both appropriate and achievable. But sometimes, addressing a problem is not a conscious choice of just sitting down and formulating a plan, but a slow, creeping, almost unconscious movement in a particular direction. Like a small boat turning its rudder one degree to the left or right: It doesn’t feel like a significant change, but over time and distance, that change can be substantial.
This is how I have recently addressed the perceived risk to my family’s personal safety. I have focused on practicing jui-jitsu (a wonderful, grace-filled practice), and even signed up to take a refresher class in gun safety. What is motivating this? If I’m honest, it’s fear. Fear for myself and for my family. And perhaps mostly for the four women in my life. My wife and three grown daughters.
I can learn as much about protecting myself and my family as there is to learn. But the overarching problem is that I’m not with them all day, every day. My wife and my grown children are not with me all the time. And in the case of my three daughters, I’m not even in the same city as they are most of the year. It’s hard to say that my response would be considered effective in any fair interpretation of the word.
I believe there is a better answer than trying to protect my family myself. Prayer is available to everyone, including and perhaps especially earthly fathers. I pray every morning and almost every evening that the good Lord will watch over and protect each of my children as well as my wife and me. Often, I finish with Martin Luther’s often-prayed words that “God would not abandon me” or my family.
The recognition of my lack of control over my family and the world they live in frees me to give the problem of their security over to the Lord himself. The One who loves them even more than I do, watches over them, guides them, protects them, and cares about every hair on their head. The One who has good plans for their final safety with Him forever.
A man’s got to know his limitations. Thankfully, the God who sent his Son to die on the cross for me, my wife and each of my children, knows NO limitations. And He loves them more than I ever could!