I had a photoshoot a few weeks ago, with a very talented designer. In my retirement, I'm only taking small amounts of work, but I was thrilled for this opportunity. It was freezing outside and, though I wasn't showing yet, my pregnancy hunger pains were really kicking in! We spent 3 hours on a frigid roof top- the designer, photographer and I, and although I was trying my best to be professional, my starvation and the temperature were getting the best of me. I decided to distract myself by admiring the sky scrapers that surrounded us.
In every big city I visit, a highlight for me is to experience downtown life. I enjoy the crowds and muffle of a thousand different conversations happening at once. I also really love looking at sky scrapers and how completely luxurious they always seem to be! But I notice that, although they are beautiful and strong, you're never able to see inside of these buildings; the architectural structure only allows you to see the frame.
Sadly, there are so many of us who live our lives like Sky Scrapers: immaculately shut off.
We each have human needs that go beyond the physical. If we have the essentials: food, air, and shelter, we can survive. But to truly thrive in abundance requires spiritual and emotional needs that are necessary to be fulfilled. Identity, security, purpose and love- these are all essentials that each of us longs for, but the fulfillment of such requires that we open up the doors to our lives and to our hearts. We weren't meant to be sky scrapers- cold, distant and unmovable. We need community- people who we can trust with our innermost selves. People who love us, through the love of Christ. In life, we will sometimes find ourselves in moments when we become tempted to clothe ourselves with hardness or coldness, in order to keep us safe from the problems in our lives. I hope this article will deter us from living in fear. Sky scrapers are beautiful, but they aren't meant to be our models for living.
From the time we are born, we demand a sense of security. As babies, we find this in our mothers, as adolescence, we search for it through various relationships. Why? Because security creates a sense of confidence. We all long for the assurance of acceptance and safety, which builds confidence, but neither is guaranteed. Relationships fail, friends change, family members pass on and, if we put our confidence in what changes, then the results can create resentment in our hearts. We can grow cold and hard-hearted when our attempts at earning security and acceptance fail, but this doesn't have to be our reality. True, nothing is guaranteed- except for God's unconditional love and acceptance, that is. Although our circumstances are constantly changing, God is eternal and He can be trusted to give us the rest and security that our hearts need.
Our Heavenly Father is our eternal protection. He is our security and His banner over us is love (Song of Solomon 2:4) and, in any challenge, storm or uncertainty, He will not leave us in times of trouble. No matter what happens, He is the anchor for our souls and He will lead us into all things that will fulfill our hearts, if we allow ourselves to trust Him. When we believe His word and trust His love for us, we can have sweet security in God’s abiding presence and avoid the mistake of growing a cold soul. That's true safety.
"The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him"-Nahum 1:7
"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you"
Identity and Purpose