Remember when you were a kid and your biggest concern was what to wear to school? Or what your mom had packed in your lunch? Or when in the world was Full House going to be on already?
Things were so simple back then in my young brain.
Today, though, my brain (and probably yours, too) is frequently assaulted with all manner of information about our world – and most of it is so negative!
Last summer I recall feeling absolutely paralyzed with fear as news about ISIS, Ebola, the state of our government, terrorist attacks, and planes filled with passengers randomly disappearing filled every channel and social media feed.
I think I must have said to my husband 100 times a day, “OUR WORLD IS FALLING APART!” and my stress levels went through the roof. I was discouraged and filled with fear about even leaving the house. I found myself wondering frequently how could I even consider bringing any more children into this terrifying place?!
Obviously this is what is called an overreaction. But the truth is, fear is a very real emotion that many of us struggle with in a world that has instant access to information about absolutely EVERYTHING HORRIBLE.
Here is what I have found to be helpful when I start feeling afraid about what’s going on in the world.
Turn It Off
There are lots of studies that reveal the harmful effects of watching the news. Our brains and hearts were not meant to be fed a steady diet of tragic, and often exaggerated stories. We suffer responses of stress, helplessness, and anxiety that end up hurting our ability to think rationally, creatively, and positively.
The answer? STOP WATCHING THE NEWS.
Instead, focus on the people and problems that are RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.
Mother Teresa said, “What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your families.”
It’s really quite simple. What we pour into our little nuggets today – all the loving and praying and shepherding and faithfulness to rely on His strength, wisdom, and grace – is what the Lord can use to raise up a new generation of world changers.
This is why I wrote The Kindness Antennae. A whole book filled with easy ways to make a difference by reaching the heart of our kids and communities with the kindness of Christ. Check it out HERE.
My mostly ‘safe’ little bubble of home and church and school sometimes give me the illusion that I am in control of what’s going on (hahahaha!). Then when I hear about something terrible that has happened, I am surprised – and it rattles my faith. Why would God allow such awful things to happen?
But our world has had evil in it for a very long time. Sin has been a part of life since the second Eve took a bite of the forbidden fruit in the garden. It is almost uncomfortable some of the things that the people encountered in the Bible. There has always been sickness, disease, scary weather events, wars, criminals, murders, and death.
Evil is not a new thing. BUT JESUS IS.
And history has shown us over and over and over the faithful hand of God to redeem, restore, and make all things new.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Fix Your Mind on Truth
Worrying about tomorrow is not going to add anything good to your life (Matthew 6:34). The call of the believer is to trust in the promises of God.
Instead of letting our minds get overwhelmed with ‘what-ifs’, we must train our brains to remember what God’s perspective is on everything.
And those promises include…
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.” Psalm 34:7
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways obey him. Then he will make your paths smooth and straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” Psalm 56:3
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper.” Psalm 118:6-7
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
So, fill your mind with truth. Refuse to let the enemy make you think everything is downward spiraling and out of control.
It most certainly IS NOT.
God is on the throne.
And Full House is coming back on TV at the end of this month.
– Julie 🙂