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Looking for a safe place

Summerwood Circle in Wellington, FL, is kind of a sacred place for our family. Along with Gainesville, it’s where we raised our kids. So many memories flow from that neighborhood. Most afternoons after work, I could be found pushing our kids on the park swings behind our house. On weekends, we’d …
By Seth Barnes
Summerwood Circle in Wellington, FL, is kind of a sacred place for our family. Along with Gainesville, it’s where we raised our kids. So many memories flow from that neighborhood. Most afternoons after work, I could be found pushing our kids on the park swings behind our house. On weekends, we’d go to the beach. It was a place of so many happy memories.
 
Imagine our shock at this news: A little over a week ago, a man murdered his wife and then committed suicide a few doors down from our old house.
 
Karen and I and our five children lived at 1161 Summerwood Circle until 1994. In 1989, I started AIM in the garage (you can read about it here  and you can see my son in front of it here).
 
One of the reasons we or most anyone else would move to a suburb like Wellington is for its safety. But as Jose Ferreira proved when he shot his wife and himself, true safety is hard to find, even in the suburbs. Channel 5 documented how even a quiet neighborhood can become a hellish place.
 
I guess the amazing thing is that we should expect anything different. A few years ago, my sister thought she was living in a safe neighborhood of Santa Barbara until the police discovered a small armory in the old man’s house next door – 134 guns and over 800 pounds of ammo.
 
Who knows what secrets your neighbor’s house holds? Have you gone to the national sex offender registry to see what threats may be lurking next door? I did and found one living just down the block from us.
 
The fact is, if you’re looking for a moat deep enough and a draw bridge long enough to protect you, you’re not going to find it. If it’s not your wacked neighbors, it may be the doctor’s diagnosis of cancer or the depravity of your own family members that put your family in jeopardy. There are no guarantees.
Whatever night terrors haunt you, whatever threats of a robbers, fires, or IRS agents, it should be abundantly clear to you by now that your home is under attack from an enemy who wants to destroy you. He wants you to live in such fear that you’ll be consumed with creating a safe place. But here’s the deal – there is no such place – just about the time you get things like you like them, something you never expected will come out of left field and lay waste to your delusions of safety.
 
If you long for a safe place in life’s storms, you can build high walls, but you’re better off trusting in the one who says, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them!” (Psalm 125:5) He is a deliverer, a strong tower. He is faithful. What’s more, he loves you deeply.
 
He’s worthy of your trust. “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” (Psalm 20:7) Where do you look for safety? Isn’t it time to stop your bet-hedging and sell out to the one who knows your heart and longs to protect you?

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