We all need security.
Some of us more than others. In a talk with a colleague last week I realized how much I am struggling with my present insecurity, incertitude, lack of clarity about the future. I have a hard time not knowing what exactly will happen after July. Of course, there are considerations and plans beyond July, and at the moment nothing speaks against implementing them. But ever so often, when I want to take practical steps in preparation for these plans, I don’t have the inner freedom to do so. That really unsettles me. Why does God seem to slow me down? What is there that speaks against realizing these plans? I find this really difficult. During the talk with my colleague I realized how much I am tempted to create securities in other areas, by taking long-term decisions for which it is not the right time. My colleague suggested that maybe God wants to teach me to live in the present moment, and find my security in Him alone, not in clear plans for the future or fixed structures. Probably she is right. But it is not at all easy. To not have these human securities gives me almost physical pain.
The other morning I was reminded of a term I had heard recently – “redemptive suffering”. I don’t know where I had heard it, except that it was in the context of addictions. The basic idea is that when we can’t bear a tension / pain / feeling / problem our tendency is to numb it with a substitute, usually a sort of addiction.
Usually we suffer as a consequence from this addiction, e.g., overweight, health problems, hangover, debts, etc. If we refuse to numb our emotions by using these substitutes then we suffer, too. But only this second kind is “redemptive” because it allows God to work at the deeper issues in our lives.
Most likely this is exactly the tension I am experiencing at the moment. I can hardly stand the incertitude. Only when I am ready to endure it with God’s help, will I see God at work in my life and experience the results that God had intended.
So, please pray that I will not avoid this (hopefully redemptive) process.