Concerned But Not Consumed
Fear. It has consumed our television screens, internet feeds, phone conversations, and many of our minds. It seems to be as contagious as the virus itself. While this may be a natural reaction and what many consider normal, I believe there’s a better way. Why not be concerned but not consumed? Why not stop fear from taking ahold of your quiet days at home?
Now I don’t want to downplay what’s happening in our world. There is a real threat and a reason to be concerned. This disease is unprecedented – at least in my lifetime. In some areas of our country hospitals are overflowing, and in parts of the world there are even makeshift morgues being created as I type. It is a scary time, and we need to be wise and heed the warnings.
But do we need to be consumed by it – glued to every news report; worried about running out of supplies to the point of hoarding, panicked and unable to sleep at night? I’m a firm believer that God is ultimately in control, and this too shall pass. But what do we do in the meantime?
Personally I’ve decided to shut most of it off – to watch only one local and national news program a day so I that I may stay informed in order to follow the guidelines. By turning off the news, I have created more space for other activities and other voices to be heard – beginning with God’s voice. In this time of stillness I’m hearing God speak more clearly, and He’s telling me to close down all distractions and open up my Bible. And as I do, I am reminded that God has a lot to say about times of stillness similar to what we’re experiencing right now.
In fact, the Bible is filled with stories of plagues, hardships, and times when life just stopped. Job had his world turned completely upside down, Joseph ended up in jail, and so did an important character named Paul. In these times of uncertainty and unrest we are not alone. And maybe, just maybe this is an opportunity to tune in – not to our televisions or computers but to God’s Word.
That’s what I’ll be doing in the coming weeks, and I invite you to join me as we dig into these and other biblical stories. What can we learn from the Bible about God’s work and purpose in people’s lives during times like these? There’s a lot to share!
Until then, be concerned but not consumed.
Be still; be grateful.
“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.” (Phil 4:6-7 NIV)