15 Mar Dealing with Insecurities in Life – Fr George Panackal VC
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DEALING WITH INSECURITIES IN LIFE
Most of us have dealt with various degrees of insecurities in our lives. While some of us feel insecure at certain times in our lives, there are others who feel insecure almost all the time. Insecurity produces anxiety and an inability to handle inevitable situations in our life effectively.
Where does insecurity stem from?
As odd it may sound, almost every single person on earth is insecure about something or the other. Therefore, it is important to analyse from where this mental state enters our psyche.
Let’s take a look at what The Bible reveals to us about insecurity.
We read in the book of Genesis about our great forefathers Adam and Eve. They lived in harmony and in perfect union with God. God adorned them in sheer abundance and they lacked nothing.
Perfect life, isn’t it?
However, things changed almost as instantly as it started. We find that when Adam and Eve delved into temptation and sin, they began to feel extremely insecure and could no longer enjoy the gifts that God so generously showered upon them.
Absence of God in our lives brings deep insecurities, emptiness and loneliness.
Sin clouds us from the gifts of God
Many times we fail to realise that one of the greatest gifts God has given us is the gift of a ‘’life partner’’. When Adam fell out of favour with God, he started accusing his life partner Eve! Sin plunged them into accusations, self- hatred and hard- heartedness. Their life thereafter was one of extreme shame, fear and loneliness.
How do we identify and tackle insecurity in our lives?
As human beings, we are bound to sprint after materialistic diversions. Materialism results in an endless hunger for possessing more and more. In John 4:13, we see Jesus telling the Samaritan woman, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again.’’ Material possessions, therefore, can never make anyone perfectly gratified or happy.
Therefore, it is important to realize that a feeling of insecurity in your life is a sign of lack of God- experience.
A simple way to identify insecurity and emptiness in our life is to question ourselves: do we feel satisfied even after having the best job, good health, wealth, and everything that we need in our life?
The answer, undoubtedly, will be an absolute ‘NO’ .Because, despite having all these, I still do not possess the joy of living. Doesn’t our heart long for something beyond all these material cravings and possessions? This inner longing and insecurity is an awakening call for the presence of God in our lives. It is an invitation to throw open the doors of our soul to our Father in Heaven.
Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”- John 3 :37.
Research reveals that in rich and developed countries, people are falling into deep pits of depression; gorges from where they cannot easily escape. Why does this happen? After having amassed abundant wealth, one tends to feel dry, empty and lifeless. This saturation point, where you no longer have anything else to look forward to, makes one feel tired and lifeless.
The God- Experience
Do you lack variety in life? Are you frustrated with the mundane tasks and activities? Were you a go getter and achiever in life? Despite having attained your dreams, do you still feel dissatisfied and craving for more?
If the answer is a ‘’yes’’ to all these and many more questions, you are missing the crucial piece in the puzzle-‘’The God- Experience”
The God- Experience manifests itself as a subconscious longing for God. Once you satisfy your God Experience, you find perfect joy in the most unlikely of things. You begin to find the ultimate delight and exultation, incomparable to anything that you have experienced before.
The Majestic Story of Saint Anna the Prophetess
The gospel of Luke talks about the awe inspiring story of St Anna, the Prophetess. A widow, who stands firm in her devotion to God, Anna, is an epitome of exceptional faith and God-Experience.
Being a widow for many years, and having advanced in age, Anna could have easily entered into loneliness and depression. Nevertheless, through her unceasing prayer, fasting, and trust in God, not only did Anna overcome all such destructive emotions, but she also achieved the highest honour that one can achieve in this world- ‘Divine Intimacy with God’.
Anna is interpreted in the Bible as 84 years of age. As per Jewish tradition, widowhood is said to be a curse, and such women were rejected by the society. Being childless intensified her ill fate. Anna spent her days in fasting and prayer, worshipping God day and night.
“What a destiny!”Anna’s story might bring out such a reaction in many of us.
But, if you look deeper, we see the face of a woman, continually absorbed in the divine presence of God, drinking from the perpetual urns of Godliness. One might uncover an entire story within Anna, if you dig deeper into her conscience.
Anna came to the synagogue not to pray for any material things, nor to seek any personal benefits from God. Her sole focus and desire was a God-Experience. That profound God -Experience took away all her deep rooted sorrow and rejection.
This spiritual experience later made her perceive the physical presence of God the instant she saw it. The Gospel of St Luke says,” Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.’’ To perceive God in a weak and little child is a sign of her supernatural faith.
Even though much of her life as a widow is hidden in the temple, Anna had profound wisdom and godliness to recognize the Divinity of Jesus, the instant she set her eyes on him. This puts forth a really challenging question to us: are we able to perceive or see God in the little consecrated host during the holy mass, or while the host is exposed during the adoration?
To all the widows in Jerusalem and all over the world, who had experienced rejection from the society, Anna stirred up a new dimension of life: God being the centre of life, God being the inside of, and God being all… This God centeredness can truly bring everlasting joy.Faith as strong as Anna’s can pursue God’s presence beyond all material problems we face. Anna teaches us the experience of living God.Our God is a God who never leaves us. His name is ‘’Immanuel ‘’which means ‘God is with us’
God will never leave us
The gospel of Mathew ends with the promise of God’s eternal presence in our lives. Emmanuel who is Jesus himself said to us,” I will be with you till the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). God has given us this divine presence to us in the Eucharist. All the adult experiences and contrary situations of our life are the doors turning towards His presence. We need to translate all such emotions to greater God -Experience. We need to quench our thirst for God as nothing else can ultimately bring everlasting joy in our life.
Jesus said ‘’let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink”. What is this thirst Jesus speaks about?It is a thirst for God, a thirst for Jesus’presence.Jesus who was present in front of Anna is also present in us and close to all of us.
God said to Moses, “my presence will go with you.” Moses said to him, “If your presence will not go, do not carry us from here, for how shall it be known that I have found favour in your sight” (Exodus 33:14-15). It is therefore God’s mighty presence that makes us different and distinct.
Just as Anna did, let us all surrender our insecurities to the supreme kindness of Our Father in Heaven, and live a life that is loaded in humility, prayer and submission.
St Anna, pray for us.