In times like these, it’s easy to lose our way. The needle on our internal compass seems a bit jumpy. The culture of a 24/7 news cycle can overwhelm with information and confuse us about what to believe. Stress and anxiety threaten to overcome our best intentions and defenses. Times like these bring out the best, and too often, the worst in humanity.
For followers of Jesus, we can have peace. Our Lord is the Prince of Peace, and His grace and mercy are not in short supply. And yet, we seem to forget these truths when we need them most. Instead of relying on the peace and power of our Creator, we give in to the siren song of the crowd. There is no comfort there. We find comfort only in the arms of Jesus.
Like few times in history, the Church can be a bright beacon in the oppressive night enveloping so much of the world. We need not fear what the world fears, for we have a hope that transcends all fear. In times like these, we must not cease being the Church. The Kingdom of God is not insular. It does not put up walls to keep people out. It is not selfish and does not hoard the best for itself. Generosity is the hallmark of God’s Kingdom, reflected in the ultimate gift of His Son for our salvation. Let’s make certain we are modeling His character as we go through our days.
Instead of panic or despair, we can use times of trial to deepen our trust and relationship with Christ. If you find yourself with a little more idle time than usual because of the circumstances swirling around you, see it as a gift, a time to dive deeper into God’s Word. Spend more time in prayer and solitude. Even in close quarters, you can close your eyes, breathe deep of God’s Spirit, and find everything else fading away. Even in a crowd, you can be alone with God.
In the midst of chaos, as often as you can, be still. Ask God to quiet your heart. Breathe deep and focus on His goodness and beauty. Remind yourself of all the blessings you have, and everything the Lord has done for you until now. Recount past stories of His provision and grace to your family. We used to have great oral traditions where our grandparents would pass down stories of their grandparents. They would tell how God brought them through great difficulties. Perhaps it is time to renew such traditions.
In times like these, we don’t need God more than ever. We always need more of Him, we just ignore that fact and presume we can make it on our own. We think we’re in control. Times like these remind us how wrong we are. We are small and powerless. We are at the whims and mercy of fallen men in a fallen world. God is our only hope. He is our only peace and our only strength. The disastrous effects of hundreds of generations of sin cannot thwart his sovereign will. The current circumstances do not panic Him, though I am certain they grieve Him. But He is waiting to pour out love and mercy on those who seek Him. Do not be afraid (2 Timothy 1:7; Philippians 4:6-7). Do not be anxious (Matthew 6:31-33). Breathe. Rest in the wonderful peace of Jesus.