I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
I made a $500 mistake in my checkbook. Not good. At Christmas. Really not good.
I have spent the morning trying to figure out what I did and unfortunately, I found it. I screwed up. Just didn’t write a couple of expenses down in my checkbook. Mistakes like this can put the screws to what is looking like a tight Christmas to begin with. I have to admit, my gut reaction is to panic. But then I remember- this is not the first time that God has gotten me out of a tight jam. This is definitely not my first rodeo, nor will it be my last.
I am a thinker. Or at least I think I am. Descartes says, “I think therefore I am”, so I guess I am. I am an engineer at heart, my degree is in computer science engineering (linear thinker, problem solver, logical and sequential). But I am also a bit of a philosopher (love to engage with the abstract and essential life questions like- who am I, where did I come from, where am I going). That combination of engineering and philosophy puts me in a spot to ponder a variety of issues and then come up with some practical solutions.
I love the Bible and theology because it holds real insight to the real issues of the world. I always find it amusing when people discount the Bible as relevant because in my experience it is the only thing that makes sense in real life. I am a self-proclaimed practical theologian which basically means that the part of theology I enjoy is the application of our theological studies in the real world.
But when a problem gets beyond my ability to solve (and that happens more than I care to admit) I begin to freeze. My thoughts become cloudy and even though I keep pondering the situation, if I am unable to come up with a solution my mind begins to panic. My strength of thinking transitions to be my worst nightmare. I now begin to think through the consequences (real and imagined). Unless I begin to focus on truth, I can allow my mind to take me to places that I have no business going. And I begin to lose the battle.
The key to winning the battle for the mind has to do with what we allow our minds to focus on. If we focus on our problems, then we will plant seeds of anxiety that will grow into a real sense of hopelessness. If we focus on what God can do, then our minds will begin to experience contentment. Now I know that our thoughts may not pay the light bill or get us that promotion or fix that fractured relationship. But thinking about the right things keeps our hearts with the right perspective, which affects our attitudes, which allows us to struggle well in times of adversity.
As believers we know that God is on throne (Psalms 47:4) and that He loves and cares for us. That is a comforting truth we should remind ourselves of in uncertain and unprecedented times.
We are commanded, “Do not fear” over and over in the scripture. It’s one of the most repeated commands by the Lord because of our human tendency towards fear and anxiety. I know I’ve had to fight through my own emotions of fear and anxiety in my own quiet times with God in the last few days.
This Coronavirus health and financial crisis has created a stressful environment for us all. I feel the responsibility as a husband and father, along with my wife, of making decisions to keep ourselves and our 5 children safe and healthy, and setting the tone in our house of faith not fear. Continue reading “Defeating Fear through Faith”→