“For God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid but (He gave us) a spirit of power and love and self-control”
2 Timothy 1:7 (NCV)
When we read the headlines in the newspaper or listen to the news, it’s so easy for fear to riddle our bodies. Fear so painful and so paralyzing that it can literally know us off our feet. Fear that makes our mind race with countless questions. Fear that makes us question going out. Fear that makes us suspicious of other people. When I read or hear about mass shootings, bombings, fear pops into my head. But, I try to to pop that bubble of fear and replace the fear with a simple prayer: “God help us.” I immediately pray for all the families involved, the victims’ families as well as the perpetrators’ families. Then, I pray for our country and our leaders. This is not always easy to do when I disagree with the atmosphere of hate and intolerance that seems to be perpetuated today. Praying is not easier than hatred and anger; but, at 69 years of age, I have learned that prayer is healthier than hatred and anger. Hatred and anger keeps us in a state of turmoil and chaos. While, for me, prayer acts as a healing balm transforming turmoil into peace. This allows me to transcend criticism and blame and approach a good head-space. A place where I can do something good outside of me to make the inside of me feel better.
As for me, my body cannot survive in a state of fear. Fear pollutes everything that I am experiencing. It makes the bad worse and the good tarnished. It even makes me think twice about going out and gathering in public places. However, these are the practical steps I try to follow to regain composure and clarity: 1) Replace fear with faith. 2) Be careful and become more aware of surroundings. 3) Get out of uncomfortable situations. If something doesn’t feel right, more than likely it isn’t right. 4) Share feelings with someone who has more faith; someone not driven by your fears. Two or more people agreeing upon fear is not a good situation; it only breeds more fear. 5) Try to associate with someone who is willing to pray about the situation and move beyond the fear. 6) Bless and release the entire situation. Lastly, 7) Get busy doing kind deeds which have positive effects upon others; such as, praying for someone, sending a “just thought about you” text or email; smiling at your neighbor; forgiving someone who hurt you; letting the person in line behind you with one or two items go ahead.
Lord, when I get frightened and dismayed about what is going on in the world today, let me remember that You are in charge. That the light always replaces darkness and that this too will pass. Thank You Father. Amen, Amen, Amen