Has 2020 made you feel a little unsure about the future? Andrea Bear shares how to truly feel safe leading into the New Year.
In our world today, we strive to find lots of ways to feel safe. Just look around and you’ll see countless examples. Everything from warning labels on bottles, expiration dates, child-protection stickers, warranties, and anything that slaps on a guarantee to ensure we are at our utmost level of safety. And we go even further to ensure that safe feeling. We buy insurance, invest in alarm systems, place caution signs on roads, and dutifully wear our seat belts. And sure, all of these things are helpful to reduce accidents or fretful situations they certainly have an important role to play.
If you’re like me, feeling safe by having a plan gives a lot of reassurance. But even in all these measures, when things go wrong, where can we turn? We look to find blame or try to figure out the reason why it didn’t go according to plan, instead of accepting what is.
Our modern world is built around being safe, and when we feel that safety being pulled from us it makes the level of fear build inside, and we don’t know how to cope with it.
It’s no surprise 2020 has created lots of fear and levels of uncertainty. From the pandemic leaving us in fear of getting sick or dying, the unsettledness of political division, to earthquakes and fires, even watching the news has led many people to a state of panic or insecurity. We keep saying, “I hope 2021 will be better,” assuming that a calendar date will take away our hardship.
This really makes me think that those who worry the most don’t have trust in God. This isn’t limited to atheist or agnostic; even Christians fall into this category. As I prepared to write this article I researched countless scientific studies done on topics from trust, happiness, worry, and safety, to faith. Every study I found showed that those who have faith and who believe in prayer are more likely to have more peace and security compared to those who don’t, even if hardships exist in their life.
I’m not trying to say that faithless people aren’t peaceful, but there’s a level of relief among those who have faith, because they know their worries are not their own. All the more, even those who believe in God but don’t have trust struggle with worry or uncertainty. Even as a Christian, I admit I’d rather take charge to keep my family safe than rely on outside sources.
Our need to feel safe and secure often leads us not to trust in in God, and to only rely on Him when we’ve exhausted all our human resources. I think it’s a natural need to want to remove any worry or fear, but I’ve learned in my own moments of struggle I feel more at peace when I release my worry to Him. If our trust is conditional on only a positive outcome, then our faith is conditional too.
But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind. (James 1:6)
Trusting in God leads to Safety
In 2020 I saw relatives lose their homes to fire, my father’s health took a change, my own family was infected by Covid, as well as friends who died from the virus. And surprisingly through it all God has given me a great amount of peace.
If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that trusting in God has been an essential. Trust isn’t the same as human safety. We aren’t guaranteed the outcome we desire with trust, yet we are better off. We have to rely on things beyond our understanding, and that doesn’t always mean there isn’t a little struggle that comes with it.
God’s plan never ensures that it’s going to be easy. He doesn’t promise that we aren’t going to feel a little discomfort, people aren’t going to die or get sick, or that we aren’t going to feel suffering. But He promises us salvation, that He’ll be with us along the way, that His plan is much better than ours, and He’ll work through the fear and uncertainty to give us a better outcome than anything we could imagine and there is great security in that. What He asks in return is to trust Him.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
on your own intelligence do not rely;
In all your ways be mindful of him,
and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3: 5-6)
But trusting takes practice. The hard part of trust is we have to release our worry up to God and let him ensure our plan, with no strings attached or ultimatums. 2020 has been a year of vulnerability and, for me, a lot of learning to let go and let God be in control.
While I haven’t totally mastered my level of trust, I have gotten better at it. I’ve had more peace and feel safer because I lifted my worries up to Him. For 2021, I’ve decided to work on putting my trust in Him fully.
I encourage you to put your trust in God.
If you’re not sure where to begin, here’s a few suggestions:
- Prayer: Pray the Divine Mercy chaplet or the Rosary, or just talk to God one-on-one.
- Fast: Fasting practices the art of giving up as a means to draw closer to God.
- Read the Bible: Look for words of divine inspiration from Sacred Scripture.
- Read about the Saints: Looking at others who’ve put their complete trust in God and his divine providence.
No matter what, be honest with Him where you are in your journey, and God will come through if you allow Him.
With firm purpose you maintain peace, in peace, because of our trust in you. (Isaiah 26:3c)
In what ways will you put your trust in the Lord for 2021? I would love to hear your comments below.
About the Author
Andrea Bear is a wife, mom, and teacher in Northern California. She runs a blog called Life in the Grace Lane and also contributes to Catholic Stand and Today's Catholic Teacher magazine. When she's not writing or taking her kids to volleyball practice you can find her sipping coffee from the neighborhood coffee establishments or tasting wine from the local vineyards.