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The fundamental need to feel safe

29 June 2021

The fundamental need to feel safe

Photo courtesy Tyler-Lastovich on Unsplash

Thriving on a sense of inner safety, despite the challenges we face.

Words Janine Donaldson

By now, some of you, depending on your age, employment or personal circumstances, will already have had the opportunity of being among the first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines are now rapidly rolling out across the nation, and many people are anxiously waiting for their turn to receive the long-awaited ‘jab’. I do not think I can recall a time when I have been aware of people so keen to stand in line and roll up their sleeves to have a thin, very sharp needle thrust into their bodies! I am someone who will avoid pain wherever possible!

However, I do understand the need of doing whatever it takes to have once again that feeling of being safe and secure, especially in these times. We have all been impacted to some degree by this cruel pandemic. We have stood back and watched, helplessly, as we have witnessed so many living with loss and pain, so many struggling with the mental anguish and torment of separation from fami-lies and loved ones, loss of employment and the financial devastation it has wrought. And the thought of a vaccine that can now offer some form of protection against it – and help bring back just a small sense of normality – sounds almost too good to be true.

Protection – feeling safe and secure – is fundamental to our well-being. It is primary. While I, for one, am looking forward to receiving my vaccination and the feeling of protection it will provide me, I live with a greater assurance that gives me the confi-dence to live each day in the knowledge that I am safe and secure. And that confi-dence comes from the relationship I have with a God who loves and cares for me, unconditionally, and who covers me under the banner of his protection.

Listen to these amazing promises that God gives, not only to me but to all who would claim them: “Do not yield to fear, for I am always near. Never turn your gaze from me, for I am your faithful God. I will infuse you with my strength and help you in every situa-tion. I will hold you firmly with my victorious right hand (Isaiah chapter 41, verse 10).

We all have a fundamental need to feel safe and thrive on a feeling of inner safety, no matter what outside challenges we face. As our nation continues to grapple with this terrible disease, the knowledge that a vaccine is now available will bring a sense of relief, hope and protection for many people. For me, my inner sense of safety, hope and protection rests in a God who promises to “hold me firmly with his victorious right hand”.

Commissioner Janine Donaldson is the co-leader of The Salvation Army Australia.


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