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Dena Johnson Martin Christian Blog and Commentary

Where's Your Security?

“Get your security from me,” God whispered to my heart.

It might have been a whisper, but His voice was louder with each passing day. I was in the midst of some of the most painful days of my life. My husband had been caught in an affair, and despite my attempts to reconcile, I landed in divorce court.

My faith was beyond shaken, and I was tumbling into a place of utter chaos. I found myself running from God, wanting no part of living His way. After all, His way hadn’t worked out so well for me.

As I ran, I was looking for someone, something to love me. Someone to let me know I was lovable. Something to soothe the pain in my heart. Someone to take away my fear. Something to give me the strength to make it one more day.

I was looking for security in all the wrong places.

But my Savior was calling, asking me to turn to Him in this place of fear and uncertainty. He was calling me to trust the One who had saved me from my sins. He was asking me to believe He was good even when life was not. He was chasing after me as I ran away as fast as I could.

I’m thankful I finally surrendered in that season. I’m so grateful for the God who has shown Himself to be good and faithful and righteous and true even in the most painful circumstances this life can throw at us. I owe my very life to God, for His relentless pursuit of my heart and my life.

Those days are etched deeply into my mind, memories that do not fade with time. I still hear that sweet voice calling me, the voice getting louder each day, the moment of surrender. I remember the peace that swept over me when I chose Him, chose to go His way instead of running. I remember the many ways He has proven Himself so faithful over the last decade, over my entire life.

So why do I find myself sitting here fearful? Anxious? Confused? Why does His perfect peace seem so fleeting, so elusive? Why do I find myself worrying about tomorrow when I’ve seen my God come through, provide and love and guide so many times, in so many ways?

A week ago, my husband was driving home from his mom’s house when he thought he had a flat tire. (Side note: flat tires seem to be a recurring theme in our brief eight months of marriage.) He pulled over to change his tire but couldn’t find the adapter he needed. So, he called my son. Eventually, he decided to try to make it the last three miles home, driving slowly with my son following him.

One mile from the house, my son saw his lug nut fly off…followed by his wheel. The car went up and over the wheel and slammed down onto the road, slamming Roy into the top of the cab and back down into his seat. When he was able to get out of the car, he knew the damage was extensive. The front bumper. The back bumper. The gas tank. The driver side. The wheel.

We’ve spent the week simultaneously thanking God for His sovereignty, for protecting Roy and our inexperienced teenage drivers who frequently drive his car. We’ve praised him for taking away the burden of a car payment we wanted paid off. We’ve been overwhelmed with gratitude for keeping Roy safe, that he was only driving 20 mph and that he was not injured more than he was.

And we thanked him that we have the money in our savings account to go pay cash for a small, inexpensive used car to get him through the next few years.

Yes, we recognize God’s goodness, His grace, His provision, His faithfulness. Yet, I find myself struggling with fear, anxiety, uncertainty.

Why?

I’ve spent years fighting the almighty dollar, at times not sure where I would find the money to feed my kids. We have faced mountains of medical bills between surgeries and emergency visits for my daughter. There’s always something that needs to be fixed, something that requires financial resources. I’ve watched my bank account hover near zero.

But now? For the first time in many years, I was enjoying watching the balance go up. With two incomes and good health insurance, we were enjoying relative peace in the financial area. But we took a HUGE chunk to buy Roy a car, and now I find myself worrying about the many things still looming in the near future that will require money.

And, I came to the sober realization that I’ve been getting my security from my bank account instead of my Savior.  

God has this way of stripping things away to get our attention, to remind us who He is and who He wants to be in our lives. And that’s our vantage point today. And while our savings account took a huge hit, I’m finding peace in knowing my Savior.

As I walk through yet another unexpected twist in this crazy journey, I’m running back to my foundation. I am choosing to remember…

Remember the past. As I look back over my life, I know God has always been faithful. He has never let me down, never failed me. He has provided for my every need. He has guided my steps. He has lifted me from the pit. He has taken the most painful circumstances of my life and used them for good in my life.

When I first became a single mom, I was lucky to bring home $400 every other week. With three kids who needed food and clothing, a mortgage that was more than my month’s income, and child care that was equal to my mortgage, I have no idea how I survived. But God always provided. Whether it was the sweet couple from church or my parents or an unexpected payment from the insurance, it was always there.

Those days of minimum wage work are long gone. God has faithfully increased my income. I’ve watched as he doubled and tripled my income over the years. I’ve watched as he provided for the unexpected. I’ve seen Him take care of us in every way. If He’s done it before, I know He will do it again.

Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands. Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. For all these forty years your clothes didn’t wear out, and your feet didn’t blister or swell. Deuteronomy 8:2-4

Remember His character. Our sermon Sunday was on God’s goodness. The church I’ve been attending has been struggling as they watch one of their very own families fight for their faith as their 10-year-old son fights for his life. It’s been a painful season, a journey which often leaves people struggling with where God is, with how a good God can allow such incredible suffering.

But God is good. Somewhere, in the pain, God is working. He’s working for our good and His glory. God is also love, perfect love that casts out fear. God is faithful, never leaving us and never forsaking us. God is truth. In Him there is no lies, no darkness, no evil. God is perfect. He cannot do any wrong, any evil. And although we live in a fallen world where pain and darkness is alive, we can know that He is present, walking with us, guiding us. We can trust Him because of His character.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Psalm 118:29

Remember His promises. God has made promises—good promises—to His believers. He has promised us that He has overcome the world and all it’s problems (John 16:33). He’s promised to always be with us, to never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). He’s promised that all things will work for good if we love Him (Romans 8:28). He’s promised to have plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).

And He’s promised His perfect peace when we choose to focus on Him, to turn our worry into prayers, to focus our hearts on Him in thanksgiving and praise.

The best part? He has promised that not one of His promises will ever fail.

Not a single one of all the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true. Joshua 21:45

Sometimes it’s sobering to see life’s journey, the struggles and trials of this life for what they are. Yes, things happen, sometimes because of our own poor choices, sometimes simply because we live in a fallen world. But what I know is that God uses these trials to get our attention, to show us where we are putting our trust in something other than Him. And then, He carries us through to the other side where we get to see the full picture of who He is and what He is doing, how He is weaving the circumstances of our lives into a beautiful mosaic where we get to see His fingerprints all over the masterpiece.




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