During a time of uncertainty, I felt my mind and heart shift from one extreme to another, sometimes multiple times in an hour. My husband and I were moving to a new city without a definite plan for employment; on top of that, I was leaving behind a dream job that I loved. Even though we felt God’s direction in our move, it didn’t prevent doubt, or even fear, from creeping up. The question was what to do with my unpredictable double mindedness. I needed a clear path in the middle of what felt like personal chaos.
Today we find ourselves seemingly in a collective chaos. Though COVID19 has impacted people differently, there is no doubt that the effects of COVID 19 has touched everyone in some way. Some of have lost their very lives; some have lost their livelihood. I would guess everyone knows at least one person in either category. The pain is palpable. To add to it, not long after Easter, we became more divided than ever about the best way to move forward. As shouting matches take place both on social media and at state capitols, it seems we have come to the end of running this race in unity. How can we re-ground ourselves and see through the chaos?
1. Focus on what is True.
Our thoughts, emotions, circumstances can change; we should not build our lives on these. There is someone who is never changing—Jesus. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8). We can place our sometimes fragile trust in our unshakeable Jesus. He is our resting place when we are weary. He is our saving grace when we have done wrong or been wronged. He is our light in the dark world and our source for an abundant life. When we focus on what—or WHO—is true, what is shifting in our lives will not have the same power over us.
2. Remember(ing) the goodness and love of God.
The Bible is full of memory. Over and over, we read stories of the goodness of God. Revelation 12:11 says our personal stories are powerful because we overcome by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and by the word of our testimony of God’s goodness in our own life. What we can do in times of uncertainty is remember the goodness of God by looking for all the ways God is showing us love in tangible ways. This is not a one-time act, but a continued life-style of remembering. We will probably have to remind ourselves of God’s goodness and love more than once during a challenging season; we may even have to remind ourselves more than once a day.
In that chaotic season a few years ago, I decided that the only way I could stop shifting would be to refocus on what was True and unchanging—Jesus. I daily documented the goodness of God by creating index cards with the words “God showed me love…” I would fill these in to remind myself that God sees me and knows me and loves me. I taped the index cards to the entryway of my apartment, so I would see these testimonies every time I went out and came home. With every card added to the wall, my faith and hope in Jesus was renewed, and the felt chaos waned.
Movement Step: Look for the ways God is showing off his love for you every day. Take a moment to write them down and post them where you can see them. Then pray and ask God how you might partner with him to show someone else love, too. God is generous to us, showing us how to be generous to others.