I am currently accepting voice, piano, and violin students. Learn more or
13 January 2021
After reading yesterday’s post, you may be thinking, “That’s all well and good, but I still feel terrible. I’m still stressed out, and I don’t know how to do this.” I know just how you feel. I have a turbulent personality however calm my exterior looks. I have struggled intensively with anxiety my whole life. Here are some practical suggestions that have helped me:
But pray correctly. Don’t demand that God save America by putting Trump back in office. God’s ways are not your ways. Pray that God’s will would be done and ask Him for the help to do His will—the will He clearly lays out for you in His Word. Wherever the Scriptures clearly command or prohibit, just obey. That’s doing the will of God.
There are one hundred things to thank God for every day. When you’re tempted to get on Facebook and make an angry rant. Stop. Turn your mind to thanking God. If you can’t think of anything, thank Him for everything you have enjoyed from the most mundane to the most profound.
I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. God blesses you through these tangible things. They are like rays from the sun, as C. S. Lewis once said. They are not the sun proper, but they wouldn’t be there if the sun didn’t exist. Don’t worship the rays. Follow the rays up to the sun and give your thanks there. Follow the sunbeams up to the sun of God’s smile and remember that He sent them because He loves you.
Many of you have been off to one Trump rally after another before the election. Afterwards, you went to several more trying to “stop the steal.” You’re tired physically, mentally, and emotionally. On top of that, you have the continued Covid drama, normal family drama, work, school, health difficulties, and a host of other hardships grabbing you by all four limbs and maybe your head, trying to pull you apart. You must rest. I can almost hear you screaming back at me, “But how!!!” I get it. I’m not independently wealthy with the means to run off on a restful vacation currently, either. But there are moments of rest you can grab in between the crazy.
First, quiet your mind. Might I suggest a TV and social media fast? Especially, a fast from all news outlets, talk radio shows and all social media. It will take some self-discipline, but try replacing that constant 24-hour news cycle with better uses of time.
All of these things I have mentioned above can constitute repentance. I know that sounds odd. We typically think of repentance as falling on your face, beating your breast, tearing clothes, and weeping. And, yes, repentance can look like that depending on circumstances and your particular personality plus cultural moment. But, simply put, repentance is turning away from your error–your missing of the mark– and turning to Christ to fix your eyes back on Him in simple obedience.
One final note. If you are at all like me, and I suspect I’m not all that strange, you are going to attempt prayer, thanksgiving, and rest and the troubles of the last week will try to invade and stir up anxiety and confusion. “But what if Biden actually gets the presidency?” “But what if we all get censured and our voices are erased?” “What if this is really the end of America?” “What if they stuff us in cattle cars and ship us off to the gulogs?” “What if bad policy ruins us to the extent that there is starvation?” “What if I suffer?”
First of all, none of the steps above erase the very real problems we face. The fact is, we are seeing the early warning signs of the effects of terrible policy that has led to all of the scenarios above in countries all over the world. I am not denying any of that. But I would just like to remind you, once more, of the song I spoke of yesterday.
“Loving Jesus, gentle lamb
In thy gracious hands I am.
Make me, Savior, what thou art.
Live thyself within my heart.
I shall then show forth thy praise
Serve thee all my happy days.
Then the world shall always see
Christ, the Holy child, in me.”
All of those fears may come true. Things I have feared have happened to me. Even so, you are in the gracious hands of Jesus. Whatever happens, you will be safe in His care. He will be with you in your suffering because He is the God who suffers. Replace your “But what ifs” when they arise to “even ifs.” “Even if Biden gets the presidency, Jesus is in control of America’s rise and fall.” “Even if I get erased from the marketplace of ideas, Jesus hears my voice.” “Even if I go to prison, Jesus will go there with me.” “Even if bad politicians ruin the economy and trigger food shortages and mass starvation, Jesus will provide or He will help me to bear my hunger for as long as is necessary.” “Even if I suffer, Jesus will hold me together in His good hands.”
If you can find your footing on the rock that is Jesus and take your trust away from the sinking sands of earthly heroes, political movements, and the existence of America as we know it—you will become poised, unflappable, unshakable and…kind. Because no one can take your best things away from you. Jesus holds those best things in His hand and no power on earth or in Hell can take them away. Period. End of story.
Now, how do we fight? Because we definitely do fight. Some of the anxiety and defeatism you may be feeling is a consequence of not knowing what you don’t know. Accurate information can go a long way to dispelling unnecessary anxiety, a sense of helplessness, and feelings of overwhelm. Tune back in tomorrow.