Living with Insecurity

Some people like to live dangerously but, after a certain age, the majority seem to want some kind of security. The trouble is, whatever we think will provide security may not do so. Health may give way; house and home may be lost along with the job that we imagined would provide a livelihood; the person most dear to us may depart or die or perhaps never come into our lives at all. If we live long enough, old age will strip us of the strength and certainties of our youth. The conventional religious answer is to place our trust in God, to rely on him alone. That is fine in theory but extremely hard to do when feeling weak or helpless.

This morning there are many anxious people struggling with COVID-19. A report I read stated that most of those in Brazil requiring intubation are having to undergo the procedure without sedatives because the country has only 6% of the medication it needs. Intubation is ghastly enough without that! There are people in Ukraine waiting to see whether Russian tanks are going to cross over the border and invade their country. In Hong Kong, Myanmar, much of Africa, there is political uncertainty and fear of repression. Add to that what we now call ‘food insecurity’ and the threat of ethnic violence, and our own troubles seem small enough.

We express our solidarity with those who suffer through our prayer and by doing whatever we can to alleviate the distress of others. It is our privilege to provide the human response to the prayer of those placing their trust in God. Let’s think about that for a moment. Then be humbled and give thanks that God should place such trust in us.

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Living with Insecurity

Every generation seems to recreate the myth of a golden age when all was well with the world, peace and prosperity reigned (or, at any rate, everyone had enough to eat, a job to go to, and a home to return to) and life was tolerable if not actually enjoyable. Of course, the truth has always been otherwise. Except for a very few, life has always been insecure; and even those blessed with material riches have been subject to emotional loss, health scares and natural or man-made disasters. Why, then, do we cling to the idea that life ought to be secure? That security is the norm; insecurity somehow a deviation?

Could it be that inside each of us there is the desire for ‘something more’, the ‘divine discontent’ which leaves us restless until we find ourselves in God? As a Christian, I would certainly agree with that sentiment. The cold beauty of the snowscape around us has reminded me how very fragile our lives are. We so easily forget our vulnerability. Bricks and mortar, money and status, even family and friends can all be taken away; and sometimes it is only when we have nothing and must stand before God defenceless and with empty hands that we realise the truth of the psalmist’s conviction:

O Lord, you search me and you know me,
you know my resting and my rising,
you discern my purpose from afar.
You mark when I walk or lie down,
all my ways lie open to you. (Ps 138)

It is in God’s knowledge and care for us that our security lies.Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail