Monday, 7 December 2020
Sometimes, like for many of us now, we can become overwhelmed with the chaos around us. This may create uneasiness or anxiety or panic. In an effort to avoid these things no doubt many of us have become victims of platitudes of well-meaning pastors and counselors. So, how do we avoid feeling this way and acting out as a result of feeling this way?
But we can't talk ourselves out of it. I am sure you already realize that even though you may continue to try it. The point is that our will won't free us from fear by it's own power. Fear is really the term here that results from the chaos around us. To know and to believe isn't exactly right either is it? I recall the scriptures reminding us in James 2:19 that even the demons believe. I trust your belief doesn't make you "shutter" though as it does to them.
So, again how do we avoid this?
Abraham gives us a good idea of what we can do. In Genesis 18:8 ESV it says: "Then he took curds and milk and the calf that he had prepared, and set it before them. And he stood by them under the tree while they ate."
Earlier in the reading we were reminded about the heat of the day and we likened this heat of the day to our own chaotic environment. We learned that if can wait even in the middle of this chaos we can hear the Lord. But that leads us to the same question essentially, how do we wait for the Lord in the middle of this chaos?
It's all about relationship
If we look at the term "stood" we can an idea of one thing that might help. There is much meaning to this little word "stood" in the verse above. It carries the idea of being at the "ready" There is a firmness that is part of this. It maintains the concept of remaining and perseverance.
He stood before them while they ate. Abraham loved them and then readied himself in the heat of the day. In other words, in the middle of the chaos, Abraham taught us to love and then ready ourselves. Is so doing, he created an attachment to the Lord (his guest). It was this attachment that shaped his identity (to act like himself, which what is a reflection of who is guest was, Yeshua). This act is how we avoid fear or how we return to being who we are (in Yeshua) in midst of the chaos.
Practically speaking we do this through preparation by thankfulness. Thankfulness readies us and takes us out of the place of fear. This gives us the ability to become attached. Our attachment (identity) to the Lord is what keeps us from our fear.
But it must begin with gratitude. So, if you are feeling fear, or feeling overwhelmed or feeling the chaos around us try the following exercise to help bring you back to a place of joy.
First, think of a place of gratitude. (Its better to write this down but not strictly necessary) This is something that you can recall that will take you to a place of feeling thankful. It may be one or a few times where you remember being grateful for something. Think about that and remember as much as you can about that. It just needs a minute or two. Then spend another minute or two thanking God for things as fast as they come to mind. Then try to focus a little closer to current circumstances and be thankful for those things that are more closely connected to the chaos.
There are some different variations to this depending on the circumstances. And no, this isn't "like a new age" kinda thing. This is a scripture kind of thing. You see, when we look at the Psalms we see this play out over the course of many of them.
Again, it's all about relationship.
Daniel and Berelyn,