Where does security come from? Do you feel safe if you have enough food to eat? Or is safety a result of having enough money to pay the bills? What about when you have enough clothes to wear, a warm home, and a dependable job? It’s very easy in our world to believe that these are the things that help us to feel safe in troubling times.
There is some truth to the idea that food, money, and shelter help us to feel safe, especially in troubling or difficult times. The root chakra is all about safety and our right to exist.
If you have a healthy relationship with money, you will feel safe. When you have all those other physical things – food, shelter, paying work – you feel safe.
Yet, are these things the true source of safety and security?
Imagine for a moment that you had none of those things. Imagine that you lived day to day.
Could you still feel safe? Do you still feel safe if times are difficult?
I believe that we can feel safe even when times are tough! How?
Let’s look at three principles that teach us how to feel safe in troubling times.
Principle #1: Nature is provided for, one day at a time.
Look around you to the natural world. What we see in nature is a reflection of what we can experience ourselves as humans.
Nature follows laws that govern the all of the processes of growth. These laws also apply to us! The first principle is to look to nature for truth, and then see how that applies to your own life.
Let's start with an example with a law of nature you’re probably most familiar with. This is the law of sowing and reaping. This law essentially says, what you put out is what you get back. You are rewarded according to the effort you put into something. Give love, and you get love in return.
Where does safety come from for the animals and plants?
It comes through the abundance of things provided for them. Daily, weekly, monthly, the animals and plants are nourished with sunlight, with rain, with wind, with all of the things they need to grow, to eat, and to reproduce.
The seasonal cycles provide nature with everything it needs.
Rains in the spring bring forth new growth. Heat in the summer helps many plants to prosper. Fall is the time to eat and fatten up from the abundance of the summer. Winter provides rest from all of the work of spring and summer, and yet resources for survival are still available.
Do you think that plants and animals feel safe in troubling times? Ok, perhaps they don’t experience anxiety or safety in the same way that we do.
In their own way, I would assert that the animals do feel safe, because they are gifted with a nature that tells them they are.
You are a part of nature. You are made of the same substance as the plants and animals. Logic would have to say that you are therefore also provided for, one day at a time.
The trick is to learn to trust in the right source for the provision of what we need.
Animals may have an innate sense of safety, but we can cultivate one, too. It is possible to feel safe in troubling times. And in all times!
Matthew 6:26, 28 tells us, “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns;....Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin.”
We are like the fowls of the air and the lilies of the field. We are provided with an abundance of all that we need, day by day.
Principle #2: God is the source of all we need.
Where does all of this abundance come from? Who provides the rain and the light and the nourishment for all of nature?
Let’s continue with the scripture from Matthew 6.
The rest of Matthew 6:26 says, “Are ye not much better than [the fowls]?”
And 6:30 teaches us, ”Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?”
We learn the source of our safety and security. That source is God.
He provides for the animals and plants, and of course, he provides for us as well. In fact, he provides even more for us, because we are “better than” them.
If God provides for Nature, through these governing laws, and we are part of Nature, then by extension, God also provides for us.
Notice that God doesn't say, You humans are smarter than the animals and plants. Go, be industrious, and depend on yourself for your needs.
Now, I'm not at all discounting the importance of work, being self-reliant, and developing and using our gifts. We are also taught that those are things we are to do, too.
So what's the key, then? How do we balance being industrious and realizing that God is the daily source of all we need?
What is the key to feeling safe in troubling times? It’s at the end of verse 30. Did you catch it? “O ye of little faith.”
The key is to have faith. Faith in the correct source, which is Heavenly Father.
In these troubling times, we have a great opportunity to develop our faith and trust in the true source of all safety and comfort.
True security comes not from having 50 rolls of toilet paper, but from having a deep and abiding faith that the Lord will provide.
We are children of God. All loving parents provide for their children to the best of their ability. God is our Heavenly Father, and he is perfect. If you can provide imperfectly for your own children, can you see how God can provide perfectly for you?
Your 3 year old doesn't go to sleep worrying about how to provide for the next week, or even what he will have for breakfast. He has faith and trust in you as his parent that you will provide for him.
God asks the same from us. Have faith and trust in Him that He will provide for you!
Principle #3: Seek first for God.
We think that we have to provide for our needs. We focus on getting a good job, saving for retirement, buying lots of food for hard times.
None of these things by themselves are bad, by the way. In fact, there is wisdom in taking these steps and providing for yourself and your family.
They key here is, what is your motivation in doing so?
If you want to feel safe in troubling times, you have to act from a place of faith, not a place of fear.
Are you storing up food because you fear losing a job or being unable to work, or are you storing up food in faith?
Are you buying 100 rolls of toilet paper because you fear there won’t be any more, or because you have faith and want to be able to help your neighbor if they need some?
The proper order is to seek to glorify God first.
Matthew 6:31-32 reads, “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?...For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.”
God knows that we need to eat, drink, and dress ourselves.
Here’s the key: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt 6:33)
This scripture brings a serious pause for reflection to me.
God is saying, in all you do, seek to follow me, first. Seek goodness, and all that God is. THEN, as you do that, I will happily bless you with everything you need physically.These scriptures in Matthew 6 tell us that the answer to all of our insecurities about our physical needs can be answered by focusing on Him. As we follow him, have faith in him, and trust him, he will bring unto us all that we need.
Practical tips to feel safe
The current COVID-19 pandemic is a great blessing. It gives us all the opportunity to choose faith over fear. It’s a time to choose to develop or strengthen your faith in God.
But the coronavirus isn't the first time we've experienced uncertainty, and it certainly won't be the last. There are the major world concerns, like this pandemic, and ongoing wars and diseases.
Yet we will all also experience our own times of uncertainty. Concerns that you might have right now are those that most people have at some time in their lives.
Some of the concerns you might have right now are probably things like:
- do I have enough food and water?
- will we have enough money to pay our bills?
- how long will I still have my job?
- how do I keep my kids safe?
- how do I keep my parents/grandparents safe?
- what happens if I get sick?
All of these things are serious concerns, and they weigh heavy on our minds. And yet, we have a choice. We can choose to have faith, which brings a feeling of security.
In every circumstance, we have a choice. Will you choose fear and lack, or will you choose faith and abundance?
I’m not saying it’s easy to choose faith every day. I get caught up in the fear myself sometimes.
How do you overcome that fear and invite faith, in practice?
There are many, many things you can do. Personally, I’ve found the best way to overcome this fear in the moment is by listening to hymns.
Hymns invite the Spirit into your home, which brings a feeling of peace.
Here are 4 ways you can strengthen your faith on an ongoing basis:
(1) Limit your consumption of mainstream media
While it is important to stay up to date on things, it’s not necessary to check the news incessantly throughout the day. The vast majority of media is fear-based. The less I consume the regular news, the happier I am.
Pray at a minimum twice a day. Say your morning and evening prayers. Talk to your Father in Heaven like he is a friend who is right by your side, because he is! Let him know all of your fears, and ask him to comfort you.
(3) Find a healthy outlet for your feelings
To be healthy, we need to express our emotions. You can do so by talking, doing some physical activity like going for a run or dancing in your living room, or finding a creative outlet like drawing, music, or cooking.
Meditation is the practice of staying in the moment. Our minds are naturally scattered, and run from one thought to another all day. Meditation teaches us how to direct these thoughts and not get so attached to the craziness!
A simple meditation you can do is to sit quietly and focus on Christ. Every time you inhale, say “Christ.” Every time you exhale, say, “Christ.” As your mind waders, simply bring it back.
Fear is a part of life, but it is something you can learn to master. You have the ability to choose, every moment of every day, what you will focus on.
Develop the habit of controlling your thoughts. Train yourself to think of God, to pray, and to focus on things that are good.
Nature is provided for in all of her needs, and we are provided for as well! As you grow in your faith, you will find that feelings of peace and comfort are more and more your normal state of being, even in troubling times.
Remember that God is the source of all we need, and will provide for you. He loves you more than you know!
How you can feel safe, not matter what is happening
- The universe is created in an orderly way. Part of that order is laws that provide for your needs, just like the needs of Nature are met.
- God is the true source of safety. Learn to trust Him and have faith in Him.
- Develop habits that will sustain you when the troubling times come. Start practicing them today. Don't wait for the difficult times!
How has your faith brought you peace in troubling times in your life?