In times of chaos and struggle, how do you find the strength to keep going forward? Looking back through your life, you may be able to recognize a struggle that you overcame, one of which you did not think you would have been able to get through at the time…and one that definitely made you stronger. We are all faced with struggles daily, some of which we may have never been faced with before. It’s during the darkness in our lives that people start seeking out God much more so than in the good times.
In today’s ever changing world, it is very easy to worry constantly about the uncertainty of tomorrow. Becoming obsessed the news media and social media can be a major source of frustration and worry for many people. It’s almost like the worry you already have is too much to handle, then you listen to the news and they add more worry and concern on top of what you are already carrying around with you. This is nothing new really, it has been happening for years and it will more than likely continue to happen, because as unfortunate as it is to say people must enjoy misery and worry…otherwise, why would they choose to remain in that state of mind?
War is hell. Most of us were not alive during World War 2, but I remember my grandfather telling me stories about how everyone was given a rations book by the US Government and had to strictly stick to those rations. There were restrictions on the amount of meats, fats, dairy, fuel, etc. that you were allowed to buy…and you still had to buy them! These ration books that the government assigned to each family did not entitle them to receive these products free of charge; on the contrary families were restricted to how much they were allowed to purchase. If we look back at the history of the United States and what some of our founding fathers went through, what we are facing today is minimal in comparison. Most of us have not experienced a war, but you may have heard the saying that “there are no atheists in fox holes and bunkers”.
Where is God?
Where is God in all this mess and chaos? Try reflecting on Philippians 4:6-7 to find out exactly what God expects us to do.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
With all the uncertainty in the world right now, it is easy to lose sight of what is important. The chaos that is being created by the news media and social media can make things seem much worse than they really are at times. Although there is a place for reporting the facts, the spin that people tend to put on things can cause some serious worry to take place if you are not careful to focus on God.
Something as easy to say as “focus on God” can be a difficult reality for people, especially in the middle of a crisis. However, focusing on God is the one and only answer to a crisis. Throughout the bible in every story we hear, people come to know God in the middle of a crisis. While God may not have created the crisis, He does offer us opportunities during the crisis to get to know Him better. That is not to say that we shouldn’t get to know God when things are going well, but it seems that people find God much easier when everything else falls apart in their lives!
What to do?
So how can we get to know God better and find the strength to move on when we are having a hard time finding toilet paper at the grocery store? How can we get to know God better when we have to close our businesses and stay home because we are in fear of a contagious virus going around? These are great questions…luckily I have answers for you! There are several ways to take a crisis and turn it into a victory. Here are just a few:
- Pray with your Family. I don’t mean just at dinner time (although that is a good start), I mean set aside time every evening to sit and say a prayer together. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out ceremony; just a simple honest prayer will be helpful.
- Be grateful for the simple things and take time to enjoy one another.
- Talk about something other than the news!
- Turn the TV and cell phones off for a while and play a board game or do a puzzle with your family.
- Read scripture as a family and discuss what it means with one another…do a Lectio Divina together!
- Spend 15 minutes in silence without any noise whatsoever and repeat the following meditation prayer: Be still and know that I am God…be still and know that I am…be still and know…be still…be…be still…be still and know…be still and know that I am…be still and know that I am God. Take 10 seconds or so in between phrases, and repeat them quietly to yourself.
- Thank God for everything in your life!
These things may seem simple, but we need more simple in our lives! Get back to basics and get closer to God. No matter what is happening around you, God is there to keep you safe. Take time to get to know Him in this difficult time and find the strength in Jesus Christ to move forward to happier times.
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