Lectio Divina: John 10:27-30 (NIV)
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.
What does it take for us to feel safe? A healthy 401K? A state-of-the-art security system in our home? Strong, twelve-letter passwords for our on-line accounts? The latest safety features on our vehicles? Carrying a concealed weapon everywhere we go?
We seem to be obsessed with security these days. The global home security system market size in 2021 stood at $51,900 Million and will reach $106,300 Million by 2030. With an average of 46,000 car-crash deaths in the United States, it’s understandable why more and more drivers want safety features such as Forward-collision warning, Automated Emergency Braking, Rear View cameras, and Blind-Spot Warning. We want to feel safe and will do or pay whatever is necessary.
While these things may help us avoid financial loss and accidental crashes, they do not make us “feel” safe. Despite spending millions on security features for our vehicles, security systems for our businesses and homes, and firearms for personal protection, we are as insecure as ever. Our insecurity has a profound impact on our mental health. Psychologists tell us insecurities feed mental health issues like depression and anxiety and are major contributors to eating disorders and addictions.
I do not propose this as a cure-all for every mental health issue, but embracing the truth of today’s Lectio Divina provides a foundation for living with confidence and hope amid the daily torrential downpour of fear and anxiety. Jesus declares, “My sheep are secure!” “No one can steal them from me!” “They are safe!”
Hearing these words is not enough. We must receive and believe them! They reveal God’s character. He’s the “Good Shepherd” who knows and loves his sheep. (John 10:11) If one is missing, he searches until he finds it. (Luke 15:1-7) He gives his life for his sheep. (John 15:10). Jesus said there is no greater love than this. (John 15:13).
David knew first-hand how faithful the Lord God is. He experienced God’s protection repeatedly as he fled from Saul’s insanity. His words in Psalm 108 speak of this assurance: “For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.”
When Jesus left his disciples and returned to the Father, he not only gave them the “Great Commission” but also gave them the greatest promise, the promise of his presence, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b) Jesus’ word to his followers was not the first time God made such a promise. The Lord God said to Joshua, “Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9). What he promised to them, he promises to us. Despite the danger or fear we might feel at this moment, we can know that God loves us, and God is with us. He is our security!
Prayer: Abba Father, I am reminded today that you love me and have given me your Spirit, who remains in me, guiding me, and strengthening me. Forgive me for not relying on you for my security and safety. Help me rest in your presence, rely on your promise, and trust your providence. Regardless of how insecure the circumstance appears, you will never leave me alone, and you are “… able to save completely those who come to you through Jesus Christ, because you always intercede for them.” (Adapted from Hebrews 7:25)