“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”—Jeremiah 29:11
I pray about my assignment for Lent—the one about pondering some deep feelings. Jesus told me that he needs to give me more interior space so I need to let go of these fears. “Another layer is coming off,” I heard. This may be harder than making space in my home as I had planned. Or giving up chocolate—neither going well. I pray about “insecurity.” Jesus is showing up beside me on this journey in some very surprising and tangible ways. I had thought my insecurity “issues” were mostly healed, but any of us may have this issue at times.
Without going into much detail, I was born, by forceps delivery, five months after Pearl Harbor. It was revealed to me in prayer that I didn’t believe that the world was safe—picked up from my mother while in the womb, probably. After age one, between the ages of seven and 13, we moved at least seven times. I had to start over in meeting new people, going to new schools, churches, etc. One summer, we were homeless. Not living on the street homeless, but we did not have a home. My parents were without jobs. Our large family had to split up so we could live with friends. Even though I stayed with my best friend, eventually we were asked to leave, it was embarrassing for a sensitive, shy introvert of 12. The rootlessness continued after we married and Dave went into the military. After that, we lived in Longmont for 21 years which I planned to be our last move. God had other plans and so I have become accustomed to the nomadic life. I had food issues also, but that will wait for another story, perhaps.
Insecurity creeps in occasionally when life changes, when I wonder where I fit, etc., but I have learned that, in Jesus, I soon find my footing. God has used these experiences to mold compassion in me and without them I would not be who I am today. This morning, in church—I love the early morning Lenten services. It is dark when I go but when I come home the sun has started to spread a rosy glow on the eastern horizon (a kind of metaphor, I think)—I have a picture of sitting under the tree with the path to either side. “Give me Jesus” I pray. He comes to sit with me. We are in this together.
Did Jesus have insecurity, too, on his journey to the cross? He was like us in all ways but sin. The Bible doesn’t record this directly, but were they expressed when he was in prayer? Many times Jesus was in conflict with the religious authorities. His family thought he was crazy. When he started to understand that he was headed toward the cross, did he wonder if he understood his mission correctly? Did he wonder if he was on the right path and express this to his father? “In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed” Mark 1:35. Was it then?
There are many times where situations may cause insecurity in the life of an apprentice of Jesus—well, maybe not you—but he has been there before and will guide us through. Hang on tight and Pay Attention.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”—Joshua 1:9