The world is quickly changing, and it’s hard not to get caught up with fear and worry as we watch daily news updates, see notifications pop up on our phones, and scroll through posts on social media. With schools and businesses closed and most places practicing shelter-in-place, we have more time on our hands, and the temptation to let our minds wander in the wrong direction can take over quickly. So how are we supposed to depend on God when we don’t know what the future holds?
Being stuck at home doesn’t necessarily help the situation either. Emotions are high, kids are restless, and stress mounts as the uncertainty of where we’re headed and when this will end weighs heavy on our minds. In times like these, the need to depend on God becomes obvious. But just because it’s obvious doesn’t mean it’s easy.
The stories of struggling families who are out of work, hungry children who depend on meals at school, those who are seriously sick, and of course, people grieving loved ones have me hurting and praying for the people whom this crisis has affected the most severely. Some of our situations aren’t that severe, but that doesn’t make our struggles insignificant. We find ourselves feeling guilty for being upset or disappointed that our plans are canceled, feeling frustrated we can’t see our friends or go to church in person, and left feeling hopeless because we don’t know how to help. No matter what your situation looks like, the good news is that even though our world is always changing, our God is not! He is and always will be a God we can trust and turn to during times like these.
One thing we need to understand is that no matter how dark our situation becomes, God’s light will always shine brighter. In fact, the darker the situation, the brighter His light becomes. As I’ve been stuck at home, I’ve discovered glimmers of hope that remind me God is always working. I’ve seen families spending more time together and building new traditions. I’ve noticed more people going on walks in our neighborhood than ever before. Even the family dog is getting more exercise! Although working from home is a big adjustment, the technology we have available today allows some businesses to stay open. Churches are meeting online, making phone calls, and caring for the needy in creative ways. Neighbors are putting teddy bears in windows for kids, turning family walks into treasure hunts. We are pulling together as a community and making the best of our circumstances, showing God’s love in tangible ways!
The beautiful thing is that when we depend on God, He gives us energy and ideas. Usually, those ideas involve helping others and spreading hope, because our God is a God of relationship and love. When we depend on ourselves, we tend to look inward, and our focus is on us—which leads to a lot of selfish and fearful thoughts. And let’s face it: no one benefits from that kind of thinking! It just results in a lot of toilet paper and hand sanitizer with no one to share it with. But when we depend on God instead, we find others-focused thoughts and supernatural peace. Look at the kinds of things God tells us:
- Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 NIV
- And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16 NIV
- Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
Of course God is pleased when we share with others and carry each other’s burdens. It’s what He does for us! He shared His Son Jesus with us, who not only carried His own cross but carried ours, too. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and we have access to the Father through our trust in Him!
That’s all fine and good if you already feel close to God and have no fear, right? But what if you’re still worried? God’s got you covered there, too! When I’m feeling uneasy and need reassurance, I search God’s Word for encouragement, because His Word is true and timeless. It’s everlasting, just like He is. Here are some reminders from God’s Word that help me when I’m feeling worried, fearful, or anxious:
- “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lᴏʀᴅ your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NIV
- Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalms 62:8 NIV
- Trust in the Lᴏʀᴅ with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB (My favorite Scripture!)
- Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 NIV
So maybe you’re stuck at home, and maybe you’re worried, too. Hopefully, you have people you can share your worries with, but even if you don’t, God is with you! He cares for you, and He’s a dependable God. Look around you and search for all the good that is coming out of this predicament we’re in. I promise it won’t take long to find something to give God praise for. The beauty of the outdoors, a new habit you’ve formed, neighbors who care, the ability to talk with God—there is good all around us! I don’t know about you, but I’m determined to look at life differently because of what we’re facing. I plan on doing a lot less worrying and a whole lot more depending on God.