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Looking for Long-Term Security?

The tapping and pounding on the roof was constant for those two days. Like many people on my street this year, I had my roof replaced this summer. We have only lived in this house for a few years and thankfully we have had no issues. But this is an uncertain process and our home is relatively old, so I found myself feeling a twinge of concern as the number of sheets of plywood going up top (and thus the cost of the project) ticked higher. As I felt the creeping sense of anxiety, I had to deliberately remind myself of one truth – I can trust God.



Situations like this happen to people every day. For me it is 60 sheets of plywood. For someone else, it is one more medical test to try to figure out what is wrong, one more high-cost medication that may or may not remedy the problem, one more resumé that yields only silence. All of these things attack our sense of security. And if there is one thing that we as human beings tend to desire, it is to feel safe and in control of our situation.


Surely human beings have always struggled with this. But it is worth considering that we live in a world that can easily lead us to become addicts of security. Insurance policies abound, and not merely the big ones like health insurance, car insurance, and homeowner’s insurance. There are plans and products everywhere that purport to offer “peace of mind” (for a price). Companies compete for our business by offering the most attractive or well-packaged warranties and at big-box stores every electronic gadget, from a robot vacuum to an immersion blender can be a “worry-free” purchase if you only will pay the few dollars for the “extended care plan.” Repairs for cars and appliances, treatment for pets, and indemnity plans for injuries and unemployment communicate to us that if we have enough resources up front we can purchase what we all desire – a sense that we are secure in this world. The appeal to these products is visceral and deep.


Social media is likewise full of messaging that urges us to pursue security, particularly financial security. Even Christians sometimes suggest that if we just make the right set of decisions and pursue the proper path we can attain that elusive sense that we can make ourselves and our families immune to catastrophe. Please don’t misunderstand. I believe in the power of wise, thoughtful decisions and that we are living best when we are living in keeping with the principles communicated in the Bible. But sometimes we seem to communicate that good planning and a wise approach to saving and investing is

the end goal of our lives – that somehow what we are working toward is precisely a kind of guarantee of a worry-free life. As I was thinking about this recently, I was struck by one particular story that Jesus tells. The story is often called the story of the “Rich Fool” and it is found in Luke 12:13-21. A man who owned much land received a huge return on investment with his harvest. He responded to this sudden wealth by devising a plan for saving up His wealth to maintain a passive income for the future. He was deeply satisfied by this and told himself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years” (v. 19) At this moment of triumph, this moment in which he felt himself most assured, he was the most mistaken. His day had come. God said, “This very night your life will be demanded from you” (v. 20).


The story of the rich fool reminded me that no matter how much we try to shore up our sense of security, it is always an illusion. The Bible is clear on this point – we are not in control of our world. To seek to be secure is to pursue an illusory goal, but it also reveals the choking vine of sin in our hearts. For in order to be followers of Jesus, we are required to let go of our own control over our lives. Jesus often spoke about this in very concrete, clear terms. To the scribe who was well situated and respected and told Jesus he would follow him wherever he went, Jesus replied: “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20). In other words, Jesus was saying that if this scribe wanted to follow him, he needed to recognize that to go in the way of the

Master was to give up the quest for security – even the security of knowing where one would sleep the next night.


Those who follow Jesus are called to a life of absolute, radical trust.

Flipping this on its head, Jesus preached to his hearers: “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly father feeds them.” (Matthew 6:26). Those who follow Jesus are called to a life of absolute, radical trust. This means that relying on anything else must be absolutely revoked. We cannot be trusting the size of our bank/savings/retirement account, our exercise regimen, our family support network to be our foundation in the world. We must seek out those places in our hearts where we are trying to build something up that somehow protects us psychologically at a gut level from a sense of uncertainty. We must diligently seek to identify and uproot these. Does it seem next to impossible? There are certainly obstacles. It is no wonder, in a world where security seems to be a commodity to be purchased, that Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” For those with the ability, the temptation is great to try to purchase a life free of worry or the possibility of disaster. But Jesus made it clear in the story - if you feel secure, you are merely deluding yourself. The kind of security that our souls need is something that can never be bought.


The kind of security that our souls need is something that can never be bought.

This is an exceedingly difficult teaching and each of us must struggle with it, asking God for wisdom and asking Him to lead us away from the supports of the world and into the embrace of the One who sustains and orders the cosmos. One of the most important steps is to come to grips with the truth that we are not the masters of our own destiny. Christians must allow themselves to be entirely thrown into the arms of God. Yes, we must make decisions and seek to make them wisely, but we can never be the fool who thinks that we have it all under control. We are not in control and even those who seek wisdom will not be wise without fail. But we can trust the love and wisdom of the One who, from Job to

Abraham to Paul, has guided those who place their hope in Him.


As the dust (literally) settles from our re-roofing project and as we head into a new school year, I am reminded that God provides and that He guides my story, whatever twists, turns, and uncertainties attend it. I also recognize that this is just one step along my journey, one that I hope will see me yielding myself in radical trust to him more than I did before. I do not always do well recognizing this, but continue to remind myself: He alone is my security. That is the central truth of what it means to be a Christ-follower.


 

Daniel Julich

Check out more writings from Daniel at this link:

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Unknown member
Aug 21, 2023

"asking God for wisdom and asking Him to lead us away from the supports of the world and into the embrace of the One who sustains and orders the cosmos. One of the most important steps is to come to grips with the truth that we are not the masters of our own destiny. Christians must allow themselves to be entirely thrown into the arms of God. Yes, we must make decisions and seek to make them wisely, but we can never be the fool who thinks that we have it all under control. We are not in control and even those who seek wisdom will not be wise without fail. But we can trust the love and wisdom of…


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