Until I travelled to South America when I was 17, I never fully realized how obsessed America was with security. Often when I’ve travelled to/through the States it has been to or from Canada or Europe. But when I came from South America I experienced the level of America’s national security in their airports. It was only 2008, and the War on Terror was still fresh in everyone’s minds and in the media. There were signs everywhere declaring the threat of security was extremely high. I think they put my bags through the scanner twice. And they even took my finger prints and did a retinal scan. We were a bunch of high school kids coming back from a mission trip – I had no idea what they expected to find. But security protocol is protocol – and even though we had Canadian passports we had to do it.
It’s not just the United States of America, but all of North America and most of Europe that obsessed with the security of their country. Over the last decade this has increased more so, quite evident when you travel. It’s not just national security that people are obsessed with. Personal security as well – over time I see more and more commercials on television for home alarm systems. Many homes have them now – or some sense of light system outside their house in order to ward off intruders.
I would be lying to say that there is no need for such measures because there definitely is. Unfortunately in my own life, I have had unwanted, threatening visitors to my home. My old roommates used to be frustrated with my obsession about keeping the doors locked at all times and moments.
I'm a door locker, people.
As well as national and personal security, people are very focused and aware of financial security. The financial crisis of 2008, solidified with the collapse of the Lehman Brothers announcing bankruptcy, struck fear in the hearts of the Western world. The stock markets crashed and ever since thousands of American’s have lost their homes. Money is something that people become very anxious about. There is this desire and drive to make and save money – and to invest it in RESPs and RRSPs to grant you financial security in the future.
Relationship security is also something that people obsess over. So many times I have seen on shows like Dr. Phil – people are desperate to do ANYTHING to maintain the security of their relationships. It gets a little ridiculous how people will manipulate and coerce others to stay with them. Clearly, their relationship becomes a large part of their identity and they don’t want to let it go – even if it clearly isn’t the right thing. Even with friendships – there is a security in trusting others and when that falls through, it feels like your whole life is crumbling.
In so many areas of their life, people fight to maintain and keep security – however they fail to realize that this isn’t true security. You can interrogate people, spend thousands on home alarm systems, invest all your money in low-risk bonds, or manipulate the people in your life to stay with you - but it's never perfect or enough. Thing can still (and do) go wrong. Terrorist attacks occur, people can break in, you can lose all your money and people can still leave you. We fight and work to keep security in our life but in the end things can still fall apart. This is the reality of living in a fallen world. You can have it all and try to control your whole life and people can still let you down.
We really lack control over what happens in our world.
Hebrews 13:5-6: 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?"
While we can’t maintain security in the world and among people, we can have true security in God.
"Be content with what you have": Wow. this is something that I try to focus on a lot. We have to be content with what money and possessions and money we do have – and not become obsessed with trying to always attain more and more. If we need more – God will provide. And that all comes in fully trusting Him to provide and be there for us.
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you”: This is an astounding promise. I think everyone can say that people in our lives have let us down. Whether they were parents, siblings, boyfriends, or even friends. People are sinful and are always making selfish choices that hurt us. But even through that, God is still there for us. He loves us, and if we want peace and security from Him, He will bless us with it.
“I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”: People live their lives in fear. They are afraid of what others think and do. They are afraid of terrorists, other cultures and things they don’t understand. They are afraid of rejection, being hurt and broken hearts. People will let us down and hurt us. But true security in Christ means that we can let these things go and not be fearful. He will take care of us and lead us to lives that glorify Him. What can people do to you if the God who created the universe is by your side? That’s a pretty powerful back-up.
We need to stop being fearful of what the world can do to us, and start trusting in God’s provision and peace. After all, that’s true security.