We are living in some strange times. I am really feeling that today. We received news yesterday that my brother-in-law’s brother passed away from COVID while in the hospital. A precious sister-in-Christ is fighting a fierce battle with cancer and once again had to be admitted to the hospital. The weather that has taken lives recently and wreaked havoc on others. The wildfires in California. The situation in Afghanistan. And that’s just the headlines! I’m sure there’s more that I just don’t know about because I don’t pore over the news all day. In fact, on days like today when I feel overwhelmed by all the sadness, I avoid it altogether. It’s not that I don’t care. It’s that I care too much and it affects my emotional state in an adverse way.
I don’t want to be an ostrich with my head in the sand and, to be honest, I don’t want to be hyper-sensitive either. Unfortunately, I’m a little of both. When I hide my head in the sand it’s because I’m feeling hyper-sensitive. I want to do something to help and know that there’s not a lot I CAN do. So, I pray. A powerful thing to do, really. Asking the person in charge of it all to do something to make it better – that’s definitely doing something. The thing is, I have no guarantee that my prayers will be answered in the way that I would like them to be. The God of the universe allows things to happen the way they do for a reason – a grand scheme that only He knows all the details of. It’s hard to understand and even harder to accept sometimes, but anything else would be pure hopelessness.
I have to believe that there is a purpose to all of this. I believe in the God of the universe and my Savior, Jesus Christ, for my own personal reasons. Reasons I cannot refute no matter how little I understand of His workings. Why He allows bad things to happen to good people – HIS people – I have no idea. I know that for some reason, sin has to run its course in this world. I know that one day He will put an end to it all; pain, suffering, death will all be done away with. Sin will no longer have its way in this world. There will be no more darkness, no more sickness, no more tears, only light and joy. That’s what the Bible tells us and because I believe Jesus I believe the Bible.
Even for someone who has faith, hope, and the peace of Christ that passes all understanding, life can get overwhelming at times. For so long I have felt bad for being so sensitive. I’ve been teased and criticized for it. I have decided, however, that God made me this way (also for a reason) and I’m no longer going to apologize for it. We all deal with life the best way we know how. We’re all different. Some of us may charge headlong into whatever problems face us. Some of us stop and analyze the situation before acting. Then some of us FEEL what’s going on; the pain and sorrow that others are feeling. We have to emotionally process and sometimes have a good cry either before or while we’re trying to figure out what to do. Lately, there’s just SO much going on. There is so much pain and sorrow in the world right now that it’s overwhelming almost to the point of paralysis. I feel that way a little today.
So today, I’m praying. Today I’m playing uplifting music and leaning into that peace I mentioned earlier. Today I am emotionally processing and seeking direction for what I can do. I want to be productive and helpful. I don’t want to feel for others and not back that with action. It’s like feeling sorry for the hungry, homeless person, but not giving them the power bar you always carry in your purse. It’s like faith without action being dead. The feelings are meaningless if they don’t lead to some sort of helping action, and yes, prayer is a helping action. Sometimes we’re too far away to do anything practical, or we’re unequipped, or we’re in dire straits ourselves. No matter what our situation, we can ALWAYS pray. We can always have hope, and we can always ask others to pray alongside us. There’s real power in the fervent prayers of many!
Today I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by what others all over the world must be feeling; fear, sadness, despair, confusion. Today I’m asking the Creator of the Universe to bring peace, comfort, strength, and hope to those who need it. I’m asking for healing of bodies, hearts, and minds. I’m asking for provision of practical resources, and for a calming of the storm. I’m asking all of these things in the mighty name of Jesus Christ! And, I’m asking those who also believe to pray alongside me. Amen!