Dave and Connie Deal, Athletes in Action
Are we safe? And should we even pursue that? The other day my 7 year old prayer warrior, Hannah. and I were talking about how her love for people sometimes shows up in her praying that they will be “safe”. A blog I recently read by Rachel Jones helps give me perspective of how God views security:
“Was Jonah safe in the belly of the whale? Was Daniel safe in the lion’s den? Was Paul safe as he faced the arena? Was Jesus safe as he carried the cross to Golgotha? Absolutely not.
Jonah was being digested, his skin burned, eyes blinded by acid and utter darkness. Daniel was about to be devoured by beasts, and Paul too, torn limb from limb. Jesus was marching toward certain torture and death. But were they safe? Absolutely.
Jonah, Daniel, Paul and Jesus were all right where God wanted them to be. They were all surrounded completely by a loving Father who had a plan. The plan would end in miraculous survival for Jonah and Daniel, in death for Paul, and in death and resurrection for Jesus. And all of them were safe – if safe means being where God wanted them to be. And if, when we say safe, we mean filled with the hope of eternity and resurrection no matter what happens in this life. We are never promised freedom from pain, danger, or suffering. But we are promised that we will be held when walking through the valley of the shadow of death. And that is what safe means.”
As C. S. Lewis says in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”
Our desire is to join God where He is already working, to serve Him wholeheartedly, and to honor Him above all else. We are so thankful that His presence is always with us and that He walks with us through all that we experience each day, “safe” or not.
Monday morning Dave leaves Phoenix for Seoul where he will conduct a AIA National Strategy Training Conference. He will be joined by Larry Thompson, AIA’s VP of International Ministries in training Korean AIA Staff, volunteers and a group of Pastors in implementing church sports ministries… giving them the opportunity to “build bridges” into their communities. Pray for good cross-cultural communication and thank God with us for a great launch.
Two days after Dave returns from Asia he heads up to the Bay Area to participate in AIA’s Super Bowl Breakfast (but not the game itself) in San Francisco. Please pray for the outreach as well as Dave’s opportunity to connect with friends and potential ministry supporters.
On a personal note, we would really appreciate your prayer not only for ministry but also for our health. The whole family has been affected by a bad virus that’s been going around… Hannah had to visit the ER at one point and is still slowly recovering from pneumonia. The rest of us are still healing from chest congestion and general weariness. Apart from God’s grace and your prayer and financial partnership, we cannot respond to His calling so thank you! May He continue to bless you as you continue to seek ways to honor Him!