Be Still: Finding Calm Amid the Storm
Our generation knows so much. Knowledge is at our fingertips.
But knowing too much can have its drawbacks because it opens our eyes to the many risks that are before us – risks that have always existed, only now we have knowledge of them. We then complicate our lives by attempting to harbour control and to manipulate the future. Worry sets in when we are skeptical about the future; and worry makes us inward looking and traps us in our own thoughts.
Australia’s largest mainstream media outlets have a lot to answer for. They are skilled at whipping up hysteria and breeding angst. They appear to flourish when they sensationalise a story and incite fear. Newspapers create unease through melodramatic headlines; meanwhile morning television does a fabulous job of embellishing already-exaggerated accounts by throwing in some carefully-selected dramatic music.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines anxiety as ‘an uncomfortable feeling of nervousness or worry about something that is happening or might happen in the future.’ The acceptance of media reports as fact – especially when these reports sow seeds of doubt about the future – is an excellent breeding ground for anxiety.
Instead of pouring unnecessary emotional energy into what we don’t know, let’s lean into what we do know.
God made the earth (Genesis 1) and He preserves it (Jeremiah 10). He sustains all things (Hebrews 1). There will be trouble in this world, but Jesus has overcome it (John 16). God can do infinitely more than we can possibly imagine (Ephesians 3) and His Kingdom is not just a lot of talk; it oozes power (1 Corinthians 4).
The Lord fights for us in our stillness (Exodus 14). He frees us from our fears (Psalm 34). When we trust in Him, He calms our storms (Mark 4). He doesn’t give us a spirit of fear or timidity, but of power and love (2 Timothy 1), and perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4). God knows what we need and he provides (Matthew 6). The Lord renews our strength (Isaiah 40) and has plans for us to prosper (Jeremiah 29). He is abundant in power (Psalm 147) and those who wage war against us will not succeed (Isaiah 40). We are not alone: God is with us (pretty much the entire Bible).
When you or your children fall victim to doubt and fear, lean into the Word of God. Pray with deep sincerity or scream with tears of anger, hope or expectation. Ask God to open your eyes, ears and hearts to what he’s saying to you. Seek to be still in his presence and to trust in his promises. Invite him to show you a life of hope, joy, love and peace.
This weekend we celebrate the women in our community. We pray for those who:
- daily experience the relentless busyness of family life;
- know of the struggles of parenting a child with needs, a wayward child, a gifted child, any child;
- parent alone;
- are separated from their children;
- are expectant mothers;
- care for children that are not biologically theirs;
- shape others through spiritual motherhood;
- have endured the loss of a child, both in the womb and of age;
- struggle with the grief and loss of infertility;
- have been called to a life without children;
- offer comfort and support to mothers; and
- have lost or were abandoned by their own mother.
Know your worth. Know you are valued. Know you are loved. Know your identity in Christ.
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25
- Jane Mueller, Principal