As I was strapping the 5 year old boy I nanny nice and snug into his little car seat this afternoon, a strange flashback flew through my mind.
I remembered a time when I was having a weekend visitation with my biological father. I was a little, tiny girl…just a kid… way back when. I was sitting in the passenger seat next to him, half asleep (I was always half asleep while riding shotgun). His red Blazer came to an extremely quick stop. A red light must have snuck up on him or something. All I remember is my little body thrusting forward, and his arm quickly extending out toward me to push me back. His instinct was to protect me and keep me safe. I had a seat belt on, but he was offering extra security. I remember experiencing an overwhelming feeling of love. His actions were showing me this deep concern for my tiny life.
Unfortunately, that extra security didn’t last forever. Shortly after, I found myself going through life without his protection. Sure, I had my “seat belts”…you know, the things in life that help you along. I certainly wasn’t helpless or lost. But I was lacking something…there was clearly something missing. I had a good family. I had people in my life who loved me very much and would do anything for me. But I was lacking the extra security that he was supposed to provide. Nobody could replace the fact that the one man who was meant to make it his job to protect me from every obstacle wouldn’t be choosing to do so again.
This all got me thinking. I’m a strong girl. I don’t always “need” help…but there is something deep inside all of our hearts that does, in fact, need that kind of assistance. No matter how many seat belts or safety nets we have, we want to know that our daddys care enough to provide us with security. Security and safety are not entirely the same.
Definition of safety: the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger or injury.
Definition of security: the state of being free from danger or threat.
The key word that sets the two apart is free. I felt as though I lost some freedom. The freedom to feel safe. The freedom to know I won’t be left. The freedom to believe in myself and my worth. I felt as though a right had been taken away. Something that was owed to be and meant to be mine was gone.
If we lose freedom, we become chained. Chained to sin, circumstances, and just life in general.
I guess my point of all this rambling is to tell you that without God’s incredible, overwhelming, amazing, life changing love, I never would have experienced true freedom again. You know that feeling when you’re sitting on your fathers shoulders? It’s scary…you know you could fall…but you trust him so much and feel so free that you can’t even believe harm could ever come your way. With my biological father, I never knew what that felt like.
God provided me with my real dad…who chose to be mine. I would ride proudly on his shoulders…fearless. That’s what freedom feels like.
Our relationship with God is the same. It isn’t safety. It’s security. In fact, it’s the exacty definition of security. In God we are free from danger. Free from sin. Free from our own issues and flaws.
If someone or something has caused you to lose your sense of freedom, you can get it back. But it won’t come back through safety nets or seat belts. The feeling of freedom is only regained through authentic security.